Southern Miss falls at WKU to conclude first C-USA road swing
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Western Kentucky put together big runs early in the first and second half to get the best of Southern Miss, 82-66, on Saturday afternoon inside E.A. Diddle Arena.
"As a team, you know that going on the road you have a big challenge ahead of you," head coach Doc Sadler said. "You want to be close in the last five minutes to have a chance to win. We got down 12-2 early, but I was not that discouraged. We were actually getting wide open good looks, and I thought not one of our shots were bad or rushed. I knew we'd eventually start scoring. We just gave up transition baskets that got us in trouble in the second half."
WKU (10-5, 2-0 C-USA) had a 10-0 run over 1:26 that forced a Southern Miss timeout at 15:22, trailing 12-2. Anfernee Hampton checked in after a media timeout and immediately picked up a three-point play that got the Golden Eagles within 27-23 and five minutes left in the half.
Tim Rowe's tip-in with five seconds remaining in the period made it a 32-25 deficit at the break. For a period of 18:34, the Golden Eagles had a 25-22 advantage on the home team.
It was a 20-7 Hilltopper run over the first five minutes of the second half, including seven-straight points on free-throws, that put the game out of reach at 52-32. Southern Miss did get within single-digits three times from the 7:43 and 4:54 marks of the second half, twice via Kevin Holland three-pointers, but it was not enough.
Southern Miss (7-8, 0-2 C-USA) hosts UTEP at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Golden Eagles were 4-0 in home Thursday contests in league play last year.
-Cortez Edwards' nine rebounds were his second-most on the season.
-The Golden Eagles had no second-half turnovers and finished with just five for the game. They entered the day No. 7 nationally with just 10.1 committed per contest.
-Southern Miss grabbed a season-high 14 offensive rebounds and held WKU to just five on the day.
-Tyree Griffin finished with a team-high six assists. He has been held to fewer than five just once this year.
-Kevin Holland made three, three-pointers for the ninth time of his career. Six of those games are from this season.
-Clay Weatherspoon played 11 minutes, the third time this season he's had double-digits.