HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Freshman Jeremy Wise led six Golden Eagles in double figures with 27 points, including a key 3-point play that triggered a late run, in a 94-86 non-conference victory over Sam Houston State here Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles improved to 5-0 with the victory to match their best start since 2002-03 squad.
“That was a good win for us against a very good team,” third-year coach Larry Eustachy said. “This is the best win that we have had here in awhile and it is a game that, in the past, we would have lost. It was just a terrific win for our program.”
Demar Dotson and Courtney Beasley each collected double-doubles for Southern Miss, as the team has now had that happen in two straight games. For Doston it was his second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, while Beasley added 13 points and a career-best 13 rebounds.
Jarvis Hill added 16 points, while Andre Stephens poured in 12 and Sai’Quon Stone tallied 10.
It was Wise, though, that made the game-changing play in the contest. With the Golden Eagles trailing 64-63, Wise converted a driving layup and was fouled on the play with 12:24 to play. After a subsequent made free throw, the Golden Eagles eventually went on a 9-0 run to never trail again in the contest.
That lead change was the last of 15 in the contest, to also go along with 11 ties.
SHSU (4-3) had four players in double figures including 27 from Jejuan Plair, who scored 22 in the second half to keep the Bearkats in the game late. He was joined by Ryan Bright, who tallied 20 points, along with 14 from Jeremy Thomas and 12 from Aaron Wade.
The Bearkats, though, could not overcome a 50.8 percent shooting night for the Golden Eagles (32-of-63), as the Golden Eagles converted 22 second-chance points in outrebounding the visitors 47-29.
Southern Miss struggled at the free throw line, hitting 23-of-43 for 55.8 percent, but converted 40 percent from 3-point range, hitting 6-of-15 attempts.