Men's Basketball explodes for 109-61 win over Rust on Sunday
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss scored its most points in a game since 2007, led by Cortez Edwards' career-high 29, en route to a 109-61 win over the Rust Bearcats on Sunday afternoon in Reed Green Coliseum.
Edwards made 12 of his 15 field goal attempts, the former serving as a new career-high. He also added eight rebounds. It marked the highest-scoring output by a Golden Eagle since Kourtlin Jackson's 40 in the 2015-16 finale at Marshall. The team as a whole posted 32 assists, the third-best mark in school history and most since having 40 on Jan. 16, 1988 versus Virginia Tech.
"I thought we extended our defense a little bit, and that's something we will have to work on throughout the season," head coach Doc Sadler said. "In the first half, I was a little disappointed in us just exchanging baskets. That's easy for a player to do and coach to get upset, but we gave up 18 paint touches in the first half when you only want to give up 30 in a game. I didn't think we had the aggressiveness you always need, but in the second half I thought we did get a little better."
The Golden Eagles (4-4) led 22-9 in the first six minutes but Rust did weather the storm to get within 35-26 with 7:18 to go in the half. Kevin Holland connected on two three-pointers during a 15-3 run that made it a 55-32 margin late in the half.
"I think Kevin is a guy who can score, and nobody benefits more from playing with Tyree and Cortez than he does," Sadler said. "He can play off the basketball, and they are so unselfish. They get just as excited about getting an assist as a basket. Kevin played out of position a lot his first two years here, but he is benefiting and we hope he will continue to make shots."
Southern Miss will take the week off for final exams before hosting Troy at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
-Tyree Griffin tied a career-high with 21 points and set a new personal-best with nine field goals (14 attempts).
-The last Golden Eagle pair to both record 20-point games was when Quinton Campbell (23) and Cortez Edwards (21) did so against Rice in the 2017 C-USA Tournament.
-Kevin Holland, who entered the day as the league's best three-point shooter at 56.5 percent (13-for-23), made four of his nine attempts. It's the seventh time of his career he's had three or more in a game.
-Dominic Magee posted 18 points and eight rebounds. His last time out, at South Alabama on Wednesday, he had 16 points (then the second-most of his career) and a career-high nine boards.
-The 23 forced turnovers were Southern Miss' most since Tougaloo had 28 in the 2016-17 opener.
-It was the most points by a Golden Eagle squad since a 112-75 win over Blue Mountain on Nov. 29, 2007.