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Eagles Lose To Memphis, 73-64
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Southern Miss kept it close until the closing minutes against a strong Memphis team here Friday night in a nationally-televised ESPN Conference USA game, only to see the Tigers outscore the Eagles 51-38 in the second half to win 73-64.
The victory gave the Tigers a sweep of the two-game, regular-season series between the two teams after Memphis beat the Golden Eagles 75-53 two weeks ago in Memphis, Tenn. With the victory, Memphis improved to 15-4 overall, 5-0 in the league, while Southern Miss dropped to 1-4 in C-USA play and 6-9 overall.
Senior forward Elvin Mims, coming off he bench for the third straight game, did his part to keep the Eagles close throughout. He led all scorers with 14 first half points as his Eagles rolled to a 26-22 halftime lead. The Southern Miss defense was outstanding in the initial 20 minutes as it limited Memphis to just six field goals in 23 attempts for a .261 shooting percentage. Mims, himself, was 5-of-12 in the first half, including 3-of-6 from three point range.
However, Dajuan Wagner, who was limited to just nine points in the earlier games in Memphis, and to five in the first half of tonight's game, put together a 23-point second half that included 7-of-11 shooting from the field as he claimed high scoring honors for Memphis. The Tigers had three other players in double figures, as Scooter McFadgon, Kelly Wise and Earl Barron all had 11 points each. Memphis also hit 13-of-21 second half field goals, 5-of-7 from three-point range and 20-of-26 from the free throw line as the Eagles were forced to foul late in an effort to get back in the game.
In addition to Mims' 29 points, Brad Richardson added 11 points. Mims hit 10-of-24 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Wise had a game-high 13 boards for the winners, who outrebounded the Eagles 40-31.
Southern Miss now takes the weekend off, before starting a week-long trip to Texas, a trip that will have the Eagles playing at Houston Jan. 23, and at TCU Jan. 26. The Eagles are scheduled to depart Hattiesburg Jan. 22, and not return until Jan. 27.