Hattiesburg, MS (Sports Network) - Donnie Tyndall was successful in his first
outing as the Golden Eagles' head coach as Southern Miss escaped an overtime
thriller versus the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Reed Green Coliseum with a
Jerrold Brooks and Michael Craig each netted 13 points for Southern Miss (1-0)
in its season opener. Dwayne Davis added 11 points and Deon Edwin made four
clutch free throws in overtime to seal the victory. Despite the victory, the
Golden Eagles turned the ball over 26 times and went just 2-of-14 from beyond
Jamal Crook paced Western Kentucky (0-1) with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
Kevin Kaspar came off the bench to drain four three-pointers on his way to 13
points. George Fant contributed 10 points and seven boards while T.J. Price
grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
WKU made only 30.4 percent of its field goal attempts and went 0-of-7 from
three-point range in the opening half. The Golden Eagles' stingy defense helped
them to a 30-22 lead at the intermission.
The Hilltoppers rallied back after the break by improving to 37.5 percent
shooting from the floor and knocking down 5-of-15 attempts from distance.
Southern Miss held a nine-point lead with just under five minutes remaining
before the visitors charged back. Fant made a pair of free throws with 1:22
remaining to tie the score, 58-58. Neither side managed to score before the
buzzer sounded and the game progressed into overtime.
Kaspar gave WKU a lead in overtime by converting a three-pointer to make it
61-58. Edwin and Brooks each made four free throws to push USM back in front.
O'Karo Akamune missed a potential game-tying three-point attempt as time
expired which gave the victory to the Golden Eagles.
This evenly matched bout was reflected in the rebounding battle, as both sided
pulled down 46 rebounds in the contest.
The Sports Network