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Final Game Statistics
Eagles Improve To 5-2 with OT Victory
Hattiesburg, Miss. - Charles Gaines went 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the final four seconds of overtime to push Southern Miss to a 95-91 overtime win over Georgia Southern in Green Coliseum here Wednesday.
Gaines also put up career highs in both points and rebounds in the game, finishing with 36 and 18, respectively. Along with Gaines, Jasper Johnson had 15 points and David Haywood added 14.
"It was good that we scored 95 points, but those 95 points were not fun to get," Southern Miss Head Coach James Green said. "Defensively, we have to get better because a lack of defense will hurt your offense."
Terry Williams had a team-high 21 points for Georgia Southern, pacing four players in double figures. Elton Nesbitt added 18 points. Jean Francois and Frank Bennett both had 14.
Southern Miss (5-2) led 44-32 at the break and enjoyed a 21-point lead with 13:17 left in the second half, but Georgia Southern (4-3) battled back to tie the game at 78 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Gaines and Clement Carter accounted for 11 of the Golden Eagles 17 points. "We fell completely apart in the second half," Green said. "We have to learn that it?s a 40-minute game and it takes great effort from everyone on our team. "When you start losing your focus, then panic sets in," Green said. "They start making shots they weren?t making in the first half, and you start missing shots. It just goes that way."
For the game, Southern Miss enjoyed its best shooting night of the season, hitting 56 percent from the floor, and went 33-for-43 from the free throw line. Georgia Southern shot just 44 percent from the field but struggled from the line, making just 16-of-32 attempts. The Eagles also made 4-of-8 from 3-point range, while the visitors managed just 5-of-21.
The 95 points were the most for Southern Miss since the Golden Eagles fell to Ole Miss, 113-107 in double-overtime, in December of 1995.
Following tonight's game, Southern Miss will play at LSU Saturday afternoon, host William Carey Dec. 22, take a short holiday break and then end 2003 play with a Dec. 30, game at Auburn.