Dec. 31, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss used a pressure defense to wear down William Carey, earning an 89-59 victory, Monday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum.
The victory moved the Golden Eagles to 10-4 on the season. It was their 19th consecutive home win and their 27th straight non-conference home victory.
Jonathan Mills led Southern Miss with season-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. It was his second double-double of the year and the sixth of his career. Cedric Jenkins scored a career-high 17 points and Neil Watson added 12 points, six assists and a school record tying eight steals.
"We knew that this was going to be a really tough game against a very well-coached team," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "Defensively, our press was a little more aggressive tonight than it usually is. We swarmed to the ball, even in the half court we were able to get our hands on it and force them into 32 turnovers."
The game started off quick as Jamal Doss put back his own miss for the first points of the game. Following a steal by Rashard McGill, Watson tied the game on a layup. William Carey retook the lead on Guy Payne's jumper, but Southern Miss scored six straight points to take an 8-4 lead just 3:14 into the game.
A pair of dunks by Doss tied the game at eight. After Daveon Boardingham hit one-of-two free throws, Daron Bell hit a jumper followed by a three-pointer from Jake Reed to give the Crusaders a 13-9 lead with 13:30 to play in the first half.
However, the Golden Eagles went on a 25-5 run over the next nine minutes, keyed by 11 William Carey turnovers and a pair of Jenkins three-pointers, as Southern Miss took a 34-18 lead with 4:30 to play in the first half.
A pair of three-pointers from Reed and Jeremiah Dunnings pulled William Carey to within 10 points. But Southern Miss closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 41-24 lead at the break.
The Black and Gold opened the second half with seven straight points. William Carey then went on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 18 points, but that is as close as the Crusaders would get, as Southern Miss led by as many as 31 points in the second half.
Southern Miss shot 53.4-percent (31-of-58) from the floor and 71.9-percent (23-of-32) from the charity stripe. William Carey was 20-of-45 (44.4%) from the field and 36.4-percent (8-of-22) from three-point range. The Golden Eagles outrebounded William Carey, 33-to-27, and tied a school record with 23 steals.
Southern Miss will close its non-conference schedule this Thursday, Jan. 3, when it hosts Dillard. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
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