Nov. 29, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss (3-2) took control of the game early and never looked back, cruising to a 112-75 victory over Blue Mountain (0-8) Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
"(Blue Mountain) played very hard," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "It was a good challenge trying to get by them. They pressed us, and we didn't handle them very well. It was a great game for us. We had to try some new combinations. I'm still not sure what our lineup is going to be, but we've got a lot of good players."
The Golden Eagles shot 60.7% on 51-84 shooting. It was the first time Southern Miss made 50 or more field goals in a game since December 4, 1967 against Florida Tech.
Freshman R.L. Horton scored a team-high 21 points on 10-17 shooting to go along with a season-high five assists, leading a group of six Golden Eagles that scored in double figures.
Southern Miss got double-doubles from sophomore Sai'Quon Stone (16 points, 10 rebounds), who also had a career-high six assists, and freshman Brandon Cooks (14 points, 13 rebounds). Also scoring in double figures were Jeremy Wise with 20 points, Kevin Branch (11) and Gjio Bain (10). Courtney Beasley added 12 rebounds.
Southern Miss used its distinct height advantage to outmuscle the Toppers, outscoring them 78-19 in the paint.
After the teams traded baskets at the start of game, Southern Miss went on an 8-0 run. After the Golden Eagles increased their lead to 18-9, they went on a 10-0 to take a 28-9 advantage nine minutes into the game, on their way to a 56-32 halftime lead.
Blue Mountain, which got a game-high 23 points from Josh Whitson, tried to keep the game close by hitting three-point shots. The Toppers were 15-of-41 for the game, with Whitson going 6-of-10 from beyond the three-point arc.
Southern Miss returns to action next Wednesday, December 5 when it travels to Mobile, Ala. to face South Alabama. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. from the Mitchell Center.