Jaguars' hot start too much for Southern Miss to overcome
MOBILE, Ala. -- The fourth game in six days, all on the road, was unkind to the Southern Miss men's basketball team on Wednesday night, as the Golden Eagles fell 69-58 to South Alabama inside the Mitchell Center.
"We just didn't have anything tonight," head coach Doc Sadler said. "Last weekend was a tough one with travel and everything, but this is the first time we didn't exceed the energy of the opponent. Unfortunately for us, our guard play has to exceed the other team's and it wasn't there tonight. There were some good things, like only having seven turnovers and allowing five offensive boards.
"Of all our games, nobody had played harder than us."
Southern Miss (3-4) had played South Dakota (Friday), Youngstown State (Saturday) and Northern Colorado (Sunday) as part of the Sanford Pentagon Showcase in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Jaguars (5-3) got ahead 29-4 and eventually 40-19 at the break.
The Golden Eagles posted a quick 8-1 run, capped off by Cortez Edwards' steal and fastbreak layup, put Southern Miss within 43-27 at the 14:20 mark and forcing a Jaguar timeout. Dominic Magee also twisted for a layup with 4:14 left that got the Golden Eagles within 61-48, but Rodrick Sikes' three-pointer, part of a 20-point game, with three minutes left extended the margin to 16 points.
Edwards finished with 14 points and six rebounds in 38 minutes, while Magee's 16 points and nine rebounds (career-high) put him one board shy of his first collegiate double-double.
The Golden Eagles host Rust on Sunday at 2 p.m. It is also First Responders' Appreciation Day, where personnel can receive a complimentary ticket and purchase additional ones at a discounted rate.
-Southern Miss leads the all-time series, 25-17.
-Cortez Edwards has played all but seven minutes of the team's last four games.
-Southern Miss' bench outscored South Alabama's 30-8, with a 16-2 fastbreak margin as well.
-Anfernee Hampton made his first-career start.
-Southern Miss committed just seven turnovers and forced 11, after entering the night with the league's best turnover margin (plus-5.2).
-The Golden Eagles also came into the game ranked No. 21 nationally in fewest turnovers per game, and improved that average after that game.