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Golden Eagle Basketball Defeats Louisiana Tech, 78-62

Jonathan Mills goes for the dunk.

Dec. 10, 2011

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team got off to a quick start	and never looked back, defeating Louisiana Tech, 78-62, Saturday night at Reed Green Coliseum.

Maurice Bolden led the Golden Eagles (7-2) with game-highs of 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Jonathan Mills scored a season-high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Angelo Johnson scored 13 points and tied a season-high with six rebounds and also had two blocks, and Torye Pelham added 10 points.

"I thought we beat a well-coached, talented team," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "I thought the second half was the best half of basketball that we played this year. We still have work to do, but that's the exciting part. That we're only going to get better."

Louisiana Tech (4-5) twice took an early two point lead. But a three-pointer by Bolden sent Southern Miss on a 7-0 run to take a 9-4 lead. However, consecutive three-pointers by Trevor Gaskins and Cordarius Johnson gave the Bulldogs a 10-9 advantage 5:41 into the game.

But, Angelo Johnson connected from long distance, sending the Black and Gold on a 14-1 run over the next 4:37.

The Bulldogs pulled to within seven points when Lonnie Smith hit a three-pointer to cap off a 7-2 run. But Southern Miss extended its lead to as many as 16 points in the first half before heading into halftime with a 42-29 advantage.

Southern Miss opened the second half with three straight points before Louisiana Tech score seven consecutive points to cut its deficit to 45-36. The teams traded baskets, but with USM holding a 12-point lead, Southern Miss went on a 8-0 run to take a 63-43 advantage with 10:35 left. The Bulldogs never got closer than 15 points.

Gaskins led Louisiana Tech with 15 points. Johnson had 11 points and Lonnie Smith added 10. J.L. Lewis added a game-high eight rebounds.

For the second consecutive game, Southern Miss hit at least 50-percent of its shots, connecting on 50.9-percent (29-of-57), while holding its opponent under 40.0-percent for the third time this year, as Louisiana Tech connected on just 21-of-55 shots (38.2%)

The Golden Eagles connected on 15-of-18 from the free throw line (83.3%), the second straight game and fourth time this season they have connected on over 80.0-percent from the charity stripe. USM outrebounded the Bulldogs, 34-to-33, and held a big advantage on points in the paint, 38-to-16.

Southern Miss will take a week off for exams before ending its two-game homestand next Saturday, Dec. 17, when it hosts in-state rival Ole Miss for the first time since 1994. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. CT.

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