Eagles Lose To Nationally-Ranked Marquette
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Southern Miss played nationally-ranked (No. 18, A.P.) close most of the game but could not overcome a 10-rebound deficit and 37 points from the visiting Golden Eagles' pair of guards, Cordell Henry with 21 and Dwyane Wade with 16. That combination led Marquette to a 72-58 Conference USA victory and kept the visitors on top of the American Division race with a 10-1 league record.
The visitors also improved to 21-3 overall, while Southern Miss fell to 2-9 in the league and 7-14 overall.
Southern Miss scored the first basket of the game for a 2-0 lead, but Marquette scored the next four points and did not trail again. The visitors led by as many as eight in the first half, and by seven, 28-21, at halftime. Southern Miss cut their deficit to as few as seven points, at the 4:40 mark of the second half, but could get no closer as Marquette quickly pushed the lead back to as many as 16 points in the closing minutes.
Marquette used a 40-30 edge on the boards, and .463 (25-54) shooting to its advantage, while limiting Southern Miss to .414 (24-58) shooting. Marquette hit 18-of-22 free throws, Southern Miss just eight-of-13.
Marquette got points from nine players who saw action, but only Wade and Henry made it into double figures. Southern Miss put three players in double digits, led by Clement Carter's 15. Elvin Mims added 14, and Mario Myles 10. Carter was playing for the first time since recent arthroscopic knee surgery, and turned in a solid performance that included five-of-eight field goals, five-of-six free throws, four rebounds and an assist in 26 minutes.
Also, starting center Ben Lambert was taken to the hospital for precautionary exams after he was injured in the second half. His injury was not thought to be serious.
Following tonight's game, Southern Miss will play at East Carolina Feb. 12, and then move on to Cincinnati for a Friday, Feb. 15, ESPN game against the Bearcats.