Five players finished in double figures for Southern Miss (USM) as the Golden Eagles dumped Lamar, 82-75, on Sunday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum. The win moved the Golden Eagles to 2-2 on the season for USM Men’s Basketball and 2-1 at home.
Junior Guard Tae Hardy had 23 points as Southern Miss to lead the Golden Eagles while Isaih Moore had 17 points and DeAndre Pinckney added 13 points. Tyler Stevenson returned to the floor for USM with his ninth double-double of his career, having 11 points and 12 rebounds.
“I thought we defended smarter in the second half,” said Southern Miss Head Coach & former Pass Christian resident Jay Ladner said. “I thought in the first half we were being aggressive, but we had a few too many breakdowns that drove us to the basket late with time on the clock. We talked at halftime about not gambling so much. We were so close to stealing a couple of balls, but just needed to be fundamentally sound and patient.”
The Golden Eagles dug themselves into a hole early as Lamar jumped to a 10-5 lead at the first media timeout. The Cardinals pushed their lead to 10 halfway through the opening 20 minutes, but Southern Miss quickly responded and pulled within three when Moore made the backend of two free throws with five minutes left in the half.
The deficit was then cut to one after DeAndre Pinckney made the first half of two free throws. The Golden Eagles would miss two open looks before heading into the locker room, while Lamar added two more points to its lead on a jumper with 25 seconds left.
The Southern Miss bench exploded for 35 points and the offense limited its turnovers to a season-low 11. The Golden Eagles finished 27-of-57 from the floor for a 47.4 percent shooting clip.