Gazebo Gazette

Coming off a near top-25 upset on television, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (4-9) won their final non-conference home game against the Tougaloo College Bulldogs 96-77.  USM Junior guard LaDavius Drane knocked down 7-for-10 from three-point range, finishing with 28 points and a personal record.

“We have played an incredibly-challenging schedule,” Southern Miss Head Basketball Coach Jay Ladner said.  “The biggest takeaway is that I wanted our guys to experience success and the fruits of their labor in what’s always a long season.”

The Golden Eagles were behind 18-17 at 12:45 before going on a 28-9 run. Tougaloo got within 12 early in the second half, but Southern Miss led by as much as 29 during the game.

The team’s 11 three-pointers matched a season-high for the Golden Eagles and Draine’s 28 points marked his fourth time with 20-plus. Southern Miss is 3-1 when he has 20.  Four members of USM were in double digits, but Bay St. Louis native and St. Stanislaus alum Jerrod Rigby played four minutes, finishing with 2 points from the free throw line and an assist.

Southern Miss begins C-USA play on Monday, Dec. 30 at home against Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs were picked third in the league’s preseason poll.