Dec. 30, 2008
BILOXI, Miss. - Southern Miss defeated in-state rival Ole Miss 78-59 in front of 3,559 fans at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Tuesday evening to win their fifth consecutive game headed into the start of Conference USA play next week.
It was the first victory for Southern Miss over the Rebels since Dec. 22, 1994.
"I think these games are great for the state, we were on the other end last year so I know what its like. There were a lot of quality players out there on the court tonight," head coach Larry Eustachy said.
After a back-and fourth first half that saw the Golden Eagles cling to a 38-37 lead, Southern Miss opened the second half on a 25-6 that ended with them holding a 63-43 lead, their largest of the game.
Guards Courtney Beasley and Craig Craft both recorded double-doubles in the victory. Beasley pulled in season-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and fourth career, while also adding a season-high five assists. Craft scored 13 points and pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds for his second career double-double and first of this season.
All five Southern Miss starters scored in double digits with junior Andre Stevens scoring 12, junior Jeremy Wise scoring 17 and sophomore R.L Horton tallying 14. Stevens just missed a double-double with eight rebounds.
"I was proud of our guys tonight. We are basically a six man team right now and had to play with a lot of fouls. We were undersized but played with a lot of heart tonight. I am impressed with Ole Miss as well." Eustachy added.
The Golden Eagles held Ole Miss to 22 points in the second and only four field goals with 12 of the Rebels points coming from the line. The Golden Eagles scored 40 in the second half to put the game away, including 13 from Beasley.
The first half saw six ties and four lead changes. With the game tied at six, Craig Craft and R.L. Horton hit jumpers, giving the Golden Eagles a 10-6 lead four minutes into the game. But Ole Miss tied the game a minute later.
After exchanging baskets, Courtney Beasley converted a three-point play. But Ole Miss scored the next four points to take a 16-15 lead with 11:57 left in the half.
The Golden Eagles will then have a week off before opening conference play Wednesday, January 7, against Tulsa at Reed Green Coliseum.
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