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West Virginia Beats Southern Miss, 66-59

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West Virginia Beats Southern Miss, 66-59
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ? A tight battle featuring good defense ended in favor of West Virginia (2-0) as the Southern Miss men?s basketball team (1-1) lost its first game of the season, 66-59, in the first round of the Hispanic College Fund Classic. The Golden Eagles face Pacific in the consolation game tomorrow at 7 p.m., central time.

Lionel Armstead scored a game-high 15 for the Mountianeers. Chris Moss and Jonathan Hargett finished with 13 apiece.

Clement Carter led the Eagles with 14, and Elvin Mims collected a double-double of 11 points and 16 rebounds. Ben Lambert recorded 13 points.

Southern Miss won the battle of the boards, pulling down 43 to WVU?s 26. Turnovers were crucial for the Golden Eagles who finished with 25 miscues.

Six second-half lead changes resulted in the Mountaineers outscoring USM, 10-6 in the final five minutes. Southern Miss held a six-point lead early in the final period, 33-27 at 18:53, but couldn?t maintain the advantage.

West Virginia went on a 12-3 run to claim a 39-35 lead at 15:49. The Eagles produced a 9-2 stint and regained the advantage, 44-41 at 12:37.

Two more lead changes occurred before the Mountaineers went up 54-48 at 6:48 and never relinquished the favor. Southern Miss pulled within one, 60-59 with :34 seconds remaining, with Mims fade-away shot in the lane, but critical turnovers in the final seconds caused the Eagles to fall short.

The game went into halftime tied up at 27-27. A total of 21 first-half turnovers were committed (USM 11, WVU 10), and tight defense was displayed in the shooting as the Eagles shot a slightly better field goal percentage than the Mountaineers, 32.1 to 28.6.

Armstead led all scorers in the first half with 13 for West Virginia. Carter scored 10 points to lead Southern Miss.

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