HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Five Golden Eagles scored in double-figures, led by Dominic Magee’s 21 points on 9-for-11 shooting, and Southern Miss shot 60.3 percent for the game in an 85-75 win over UTEP on Thursday night.
Southern Miss had its highest field goal percentage since Jan. 3, 2015 versus LA Tech in Reed Green Coliseum. Thursday’s mark included a masterful 74.1 percent clip in the second half (20-for-27).
“We’ve shared the ball real well this year and did it again tonight with 19 assists,” head coach Doc Sadler said. “When you do that, we are a much better offensive team. That extra pass gives us a better shot. Defensively, we were at a big disadvantage size-wise, but we were able to make some steals because we were able to collapse them and get some loose balls. Our guys did a nice job at getting those and turning them into some easy baskets.”
The team’s 14 steals were its most against a Division I team in Sadler’s four years at the school. It is a mark topped only by the Dec. 3 win over Rust (16 steals).
Tyree Griffin (19 points), Cortez Edwards (14), Kevin Holland (10) and D’Angelo Richardson (10) added to the offensive display. It marked the first time five Golden Eagles scored in double-figures since a Feb. 2, 2017 win over Marshall. Seven players also recorded an assist, with the lone exception of LaDavius Draine playing the game’s final minute.
Southern Miss led 35-24 at the half and pushed it to 53-34 in the first five minutes, with Magee scoring seven of those points. The Golden Eagles made 11 of their first 13 field goal attempts of the second half.
“Coming out in the second half, you worry there will be a letdown, and there wasn’t,” Sadler said.
Southern Miss (8-8, 1-2 C-USA) now focuses its attention on a Saturday home battle with UTSA. Tip-off is at 4 p.m. CT.
-The home team has won seven consecutive meetings in the series.
-Southern Miss was also undefeated in home Thursday C-USA contests last season.
-The Golden Eagles had their most assists since the Nov. 25 win over Youngstown State (20).
-Tim Rowe tied a career-high with 29 minutes, his most since his freshman season.
-Dominic Magee’s eight rebounds marked the seventh time this year he has led the team in that category.
-D’Angelo Richardson tied a career-high with four made field goals (on just five attempts).
-Cortez Edwards and Tyree Griffin have each scored in double-figures for all three C-USA games this year.