Dec. 8, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Southern Miss hung with Louisiana Tech for most of the game, but in the end, the Bulldogs proved to be too much, as they handed the Golden Eagles their third straight loss, 65-55, Saturday night.
Southern Miss falls to 6-3. It is its 12th straight loss in Ruston.
"It was a tough night," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "We defended pretty well and outrebounded them by 16, which showed that our effort was pretty good. We battled back, but, once again, the difference in the game was turnovers. We gave (Louisiana Tech) easy baskets, and it's killing us right now."
Southern Miss began the game very sluggish, as they turned the ball over eight times in its first 11 possessions. Louisiana Tech opened the game on an 11-2 run over the first 5:52 of the game. The teams traded layups, as the Bulldogs kept its nine-point lead. However, the game stayed that way for almost three minutes, as neither team scored.
Daveon Boardingham broke the streak, connecting on a layup to make it a 13-6 game. But Kenyon McNeail connected on two free throws and a three-pointer to give Louisiana Tech its largest lead of the half, 18-6, with 8:54 to play.
Southern Miss quickly pulled to within six points on consecutive three-pointers by Jerrold Brooks and Neil Watson. J.L. Lewis hit a layup to push the lead back to eight points with seven minutes left. A layup by Jonathan Mills followed by a pair of free throws from Michael Craig pulled the Golden Eagles to 20-16 with 4:54 to play.
Louisiana Tech hit three free throws to make a seven point game. But layups by Boardingham and Mills pulled Southern Miss to within three points. Alex Hamilton hit one-of-two free throws to make it 24-20. But Boardingham hit one-of-two free throws and Craig connected on a putback to send the Golden Eagles into the half down 24-23.
Southern Miss got the ball to open the second half, and immediately went to work. Mills grabbed an errant pass and turned it into a layup to give the Golden Eagles their first lead of the game. After holding Louisiana Tech, Dwayne connected on a three-pointer to give Southern Miss a 28-24 lead just 1:12 in the half.
But, a four-point play propelled the Bulldogs to a 14-2 run over the next 5:42 to take a 38-30 lead with 13:06 to play in the game. But a layup by Craig sent Southern Miss on a 7-0 run to pull within one point.
But that's as close as the Golden Eagles would get, as Louisiana Tech went on a 12-2 run to put the game away.
Southern Miss was held to just 33.3-percent (20-of-60) shooting, including just 4-of-17 (23.5%) from three. Louisiana Tech shot 39.6-percent (19-of-48) and 7-of-23 (30.4%) from behind the arc. Southern Miss won the rebound battle, 46-to-30.
Kenyon McNeail led Louisiana Tech with 18 points and Raheem Appleby had eight points.
Southern Miss will take a week off before returning home next Saturday, Dec. 8, when it faces Grambling State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.
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