Dec. 28, 2012
MOREHEAD, Ky. - Southern Miss placed five players in double-figures, dominating from start to finish in a 94-58 victory over Morehead State. It was Donnie Tyndall's return to MSU after six seasons as its head coach.
The 94 points were a season-high and the most since scoring 100 against Alcorn State in 2010.
"I thought our team had great energy," said Tyndall. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, as Morehead is very talented. The biggest key is that we were able to handle their press better than they were able to handle ours, which allowed us to get the game going our way. We really shared the ball well and at the same time, despite the 17 turnovers, I thought we took care of it really well. It was just a nice overall effort."
Jerrold Brooks and Rashard McGill each scored 18 points to lead the Golden Eagles. Neil Watson recorded his second career double-double, scoring 14 points with a career-high 11 assists while also recording four rebounds and three steals. Daveon Boardingham and Norville Carey also had career-high's scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Southern Miss came out on fire, forcing three quick turnovers and hitting four of its first five shots to take an 11-0 lead in the first minute of the game. Morehead State connected on three free throws to cut the lead to 11-3, but the Golden Eagles went on a 11-2 run, keyed by seven free throws to take a 22-5 just 7:44 into the game.
A three-pointer by Bakari Turner cut the deficit to 14, but the Black and Gold scored 11 straight points on a layup by Rashard McGill, a pair of three-pointers by Brooks and one by Neil Watson, giving Southern Miss its largest lead of the game, 33-8, midway through the first half.
The teams traded baskets over the next five minutes. With the Golden Eagles up, 40-15, Maurice Lewis-Briggs hit a layup, followed by Morehead State forcing two straight turnovers which led to baskets to cut the deficit to 19 with 3:27 to play in the first half. But it would get no closer, as Southern Miss led at the break, 48-27.
The Golden Eagles kept the game around 20 points for the first five minutes of the game. Turner hit a three-pointer followed by Angelo Warner's layup to cut the deficit to 15. Southern Miss twice scored baskets, but each time, MSU followed with a three-pointer.
After Southern Miss pushed the lead to 21, Lewis-Briggs connected on two free throws to make it 65-46 with 10:57 to play. But the Golden Eagles went on a 15-0 run over the next 3:39 to break the game open.
Southern Miss was 30-of-52 (57.7%) from the field, including 11-of-19 (57.9%) from three-point range. Morehead State was held to just 34.0-percent (18-of-53) from the floor and 16.7-percent (4-of-24) from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles won the rebounding battle, 36-to-31, while also recording 24 assists and 17 steals.
Southern Miss returns home for the first of two games next Monday, Dec. 31, when it crosstown foe William Carey. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT.
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