Marshall pulls away in second half to defeat Southern Miss in C-USA opener
Dec. 28, 2017
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. -- Southern Miss shot 66 percent in the second half, but it was Marshall's vaunted offense that improved as the night went on, defeating the Golden Eagles 85-66 in the Conference USA opener on Thursday night.
The Golden Eagles at one point had 10 consecutive made field goals and a 12-of-13 success mark over the middle of the second half.
"I think the most disappointing thing was our second half defense," head coach Doc Sadler said. "At halftime, you're holding a team averaging 90 points per game to 35 and you're feeling good, and offensively you just didn't shoot well. You shoot 66 percent in the second but allow 50 points on the other end. We just didn't have any fight at all on the defensive end and boards in the second half. We didn't fight, and opening in the league on the road, you have to play harder than people to have a chance."
Southern Miss forced 12 turnovers in the first half, leading to a 16-7 scoring advantage off those mistakes.
The Golden Eagles (7-7, 1-0 C-USA) led 5-0 and 11-9, but the Herd remained in control for the rest of the way. Eddie Davis III's three-pointer with 4:03 left in the first half put the Black and Gold within 29-25 yet also marked the team's last points till the break.
"Even when we got stops, you can't give up 16 offensive boards," Sadler said. "Today, we got out-rebounded by 21. Our first line defense was not bad, but if you can't finish off the play, you won't be successful."
The Herd (10-4, 1-0 C-USA), who entered the night as the nation's No. 11 scoring offense, led by 24 with seven minutes to go.
Southern Miss now turns its attention toward Saturday afternoon when it plays at Western Kentucky at 2 p.m.
-Southern Miss' 13 steals were its most against a Division I team in Doc Sadler's four years as the head coach. The squad also had 16 against Rust this season.
-The Golden Eagles have won the turnover battle in 13 of 14 games this season.
-Tyree Griffin finished with a team-high 18 points, his fourth time leading the team in scoring.
-Griffin also had six assists, and has been held to fewer than five just twice in 13 games.
-Griffin's four steals were a career-high.
-Cortez Edwards scored 18 points, the 11th time this season he has reached double-figures.
-Edwards had four steals for the third time this year and second consecutive game.
-D'Angelo Richardson made his first start since Dec. 3.