Slow Start, Slow Finish Doom Eagles
Courtesy of Kip Sloan, ECU SID Office
- Southern Miss suffered an early-game dry spell and then did the same late in the game in dropping a 61-58 Conference USA decision to East Carolina here Tuesday night. The victory improved the Pirates to 9-15 overall and 3-9 in the league, while Southern Miss fell to 7-15 overall and 2-10 in C-USA play.
To start the game, Southern Miss needed eight-minutes, and 45-seconds to score its first points, and by that time, the Pirates had scored 13 points, and finished the half with a 31-22 lead. The Golden Eagles hit just 9-of-22 first half shots (.375).
As slowly as Southern Miss started in the first half, the Golden Eagles started just as quickly in the second 20 minutes. Down nine at the half, the Golden Eagles proceeded to outscore the Pirates 16-4 in the first 5:35, to grab a 38-35 lead. That lead eventually grew to as many as seven points (52-45) with less than eight minutes left in the game.
In fact, the Golden Eagle lead was six (56-50) with 4:28 left, but Southern Miss managed just a Ben Lambert basket in the final 4:28 while the hosts were running off 11 points and putting the game out of reach.
Southern Miss outrebounded the Pirates 331-29, shot better (.488-to-.434), and made more free throws (13-9), but had three fewer baskets (23-20) than did the winners and that proved to be the difference in the game.
Senior guard Brad Richardson led the Eagles with 14 points. Elvin Mims added 12 before fouling out late in the game. Gabriel Mikulas led all scorers with 16 for the winners, including six-of-seven from the line.
Southern Miss now has not beaten East Carolina in three meetings, the first two of those coming in the early 1970s.
Following the East Carolina game, Southern Miss will move on to Cincinnati for a Friday, Feb. 15, ESPN game against the Bearcats.