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Wise, Second-Half Shooting Help Southern Miss Pull Away from Weber State 68-49

Dec. 23, 2008

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GULFPORT, Miss. - Jeremy Wise scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the opening half and Southern Miss converted 63 percent from the floor in the second in a 68-49 men's basketball victory over Weber State Tuesday night in the final game of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.

The Golden Eagles (8-4) won their fourth consecutive contest as Courtney Beasley joined Wise in double figures for Southern Miss with 18 points and Craig Craft contributed 13.

"Jeremy is getting really good at assists to turnovers with 14 assists to just 5 turnovers in the two games in the tournament," said Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy. "He really understands the game and he is taking what the defense is giving him."

Weber State got a team-high 14 points from Damian Lillard, who went 1-1 in the tournament after defeating Texas-Pan American 61-54 the previous evening.

Wise scored 13 of the Golden Eagles' first 15 points and finished with 17 points in the opening half. The junior from Jackson, Miss., also extended his school-record consecutive free throw made streak to 38, hitting 4-of-4 for the contest.

With the score tied at six, Wise scored seven points of a 12-3 run to give Southern Miss the lead the remainder of the half as they took a 30-21 advantage into intermission.

Southern Miss then converted 15-of-24 shots over the final 20 minutes to extend the lead to double digits, as many as 28 points, over most of the final period. Southern Miss finished the contest, hitting 55 percent of its shots (28-of-51).

The Golden Eagles got plenty of inside looks in the second half as they finished with 30 points in the paint to Weber State's 20.

The Wildcats (6-6) were limited to 43 percent (18-of-42) from the floor.

The Golden Eagles take a few days off for Christmas before returning to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to play Ole Miss on Dec. 30at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Weber State returns to action, Dec. 29, when they play at Arizona.

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