Dec. 15, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Junior Courtney Beasley and sophomore Jeremy Wise each scored 19 points to lead Southern Miss to an 82-68 men's basketball victory over Alabama State here Saturday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles, the winner of ninth-straight home contests dating back to last season, also got 12 points from Craig Craft as they improved to 5-3.
"It was a good game for us," said fourth-year Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy. "We made a lot of progress tonight. They (Alabama State) are a good, which was well-coached and physical, and they don't back down."
Brandon Gordon led the Hornets (3-4) with 16 points and Andrew Hayles added 14.
In a first half that featured three ties and two score changes, the Golden Eagles led 36-34 before Craft hit a jumper and Beasley added a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining to put the home team up 41-34 at the break.
The Golden Eagles maintained the lead for the remainder of the contest, but the Hornets cut the gap to 54-50 with 12:06 left. Southern Miss then scored nine of the next 10 points over almost the next three minutes and Beasley - who finished with a career-high point total - ended that stretch with another 3-pointer to give the Golden Eagles a 63-51 lead with 9:08 to play.
Beasley, who converted 7-of-17 shots and 2-of-3 from 3-point range, collected a season-high point total in the contest. Wise added six rebounds and five assists for and a steal for the Eagles.
Southern Miss also won the battle of the boards by outrebounding the Hornets 49-35, as senior Gjio Bain tied a career-high with 16.
The Golden Eagles return to action in the first game of the three-day Mississippi Coast Classic in Biloxi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Tuesday, when they entertain New Orleans in an 8 p.m., contest. Louisiana Tech and Alcorn State play in the first game, beginning at 6 p.m.