Dec. 6, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Jeremy Wise scored a game-high 17 points and Courtney Beasley added 10 to lead Southern Miss to a 70-45 men's basketball victory over Southern-New Orleans here Wednesday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles improved to 7-0 for only the fourth time in their 88-year history and first time since 1985-86. It was also the first time that Southern Miss won at least seven consecutive games, since winning 10 straight during the 1990-91 campaign.
"It is nice to be 7-0," third-year coach Larry Eustachy said. "The potential for this team to be successful is unlimited."
Leading 14-11 in the opening half, Craig Craft hit eight straight points - including a pair of 3-pointers - to trigger a 13-0 run for the Golden Eagles and they were never threatened again in the game as Southern Miss went into the half, 40-18.
Southern Miss shot 66.7 percent (16-of-24) in the opening half, as the Golden Eagles saw a different pace from the Knights in the contest.
"When they went to the zone, our players were patient on offense," Eustachy added. "We didn't look to shoot until we had a good shot. It was a tempo that we hadn't seen all season and it was something that we needed to see."
Wise then scored 11 of his points in the second half as he finished the night hitting 5-of-9 from 3-point range as they Eagles pulled away in the contest late.
The Golden Eagles forced 23 turnovers, turning them into 25 points, while they outrebounded an opponent for the seventh straight time this season. Southern Miss, which leads the country in rebound margin, held a 33-26 advantage in the contest.
The Knights, which this counted as an exhibition contest for the NAIA school, were led by Kevin Thomas with 12 points, while Dominic Perry added 11 and Berry Jordan tallied 10.
The Golden Eagles now take off for final exams for the semester, before returning to action Dec. 16, when they take on nationally-ranked Alabama in a 7:15 p.m. game in Mobile. The contest is part of the Coors Classic doubleheader - South Alabama plays Ole Miss in the opening game at 5 p.m. - which is being played in USA's Mitchell Center.
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