Dec. 20, 2013
| Box Score
TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands - Southern Miss got things going early and never looked back, advancing to the Championship Game of the BVI Tropical Shootout with an 88-74 victory over Coppin State.
Daveon Boardingham led the Golden Eagles with 14 points and four blocks. Jerrold Brooks had 13 points and six assists, while Michael Craig had 12 points, seven points and four assists. Neil Watson added 11 points, eight assists and three steals.
"We had a nice energy level to start the game," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "Our press was pretty effective. We were very unselfish all game, and defensively we sped them up a little bit."
Southern Miss came out hot from the opening tip, scoring the first 10 points and hitting five of its first six shots. After Michael Murray hit a three-pointer to get the Eagles on the board, Michael Craig hit a jumper. Daquan Brickhouse hit a three for CSU, but Deonte Houston followed with a three-of his own.
Andre Armstrong connected on a three-point play, but Southern Miss scored the next eight points to take a 23-9 just seven minutes into the game.
The teams twice traded basketball, Coppin State scored six straight points to cut the deficit to eight, Southern Miss went on a 12-4 run over the next six minutes to take a 39-23 lead. Brickhouse hit two free throws, but a dunk from Craig and a Brooks layup pushed the lead to 18.
Dallas Gary hit one-of-two free throws and Watson followed with two from the charity stripe. After Sterling Smith hit one-of-two from the line, Boardingham connected on a layup to give Southern Miss its largest lead of the game, 47-27.
CSU then scored seven straight points, but Chip Armelin hit one-of-two free throws and Boardingham hit a layup to send Southern Miss into the half with a 50-34 lead.
The second half was more of the same, as Coppin State never got closer than 13 points.
Southern Miss shot 59.3-percent (35-of-59) from the field, but was just 6-of-21 (28.6%) from three. Coppin State connected on 45.7-percent (21-of-46) from the floor and just 5-of-19 (26.3%) from three. The Golden Eagles won the rebounding battle, 37-to-27, and also recorded a season-high 27 assists.
Murray scored a game-high 23 points and Armstrong added 16.
Southern Miss will face Arkansas-Little Rock in the Championship Game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.