Southern Miss men’s basketball slumps to 13-game losing streak

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(Photos/Tyron Dawson)

Southern Miss’s struggles continued as the team fell to the UAB Blazers on Wednesday night, despite having four players in double figures.

Southern Miss started the first half with low energy, slipping to a 16-9 deficit. The Golden Eagles let the Blazers find open shots on the perimeter, allowing an 8-0 run after the first five minutes.

“I didn’t think we were moving the basketball, I thought the ball stuck, I thought our movement on offense wasn’t with purpose,” Head Coach Jay Ladner said. “I thought we were too individualistic offensively in the first half.”

Ladner said that offensive inconsistency makes beating a team like the Blazers impossible.

“I really wasn’t pleased with any phase of the game,” Ladner said.

UAB’s senior Michael Ertel played an essential role for the Blazers, knocking down six three-pointers in the game, shooting 6-8 from the perimeter for 20 points and finishing with one rebound.

UAB finished the game with 60% three-point from behind the three point line as Southern Miss finished with 25% and 4-16 from the perimeter.

The Golden Eagles lack a consistent three-point shooter on offense. To solve this problem, Ladner said that finding recruits to stretch the defense is key.

“The only way to address that is recruiting,” Ladner said.

Southern Miss came out with intensity after halftime. Rashad Bolden drained a three-pointer to start the half, giving the Golden Eagles a spark.

With less than three minutes remaining, Reed Green Coliseum erupted after a steal and jumped shot by Bolden.

The squad showed toughness by making multiple steals, shots and defensive stops late. Also, the Golden Eagles finished efficiently with 20-28 free-throw shooting.

“We did much better in the second half than we did in the first[…]it was a tale of two halves,” Ladner said. “We got to the foul line because we were aggressive.”

Both Isaiah Moore and Walyn Napper led in scoring for the Golden Eagles with 16 points in the game.

However, the Golden Eagles waited too long to play with intensity, as the Blazers secured the win 81-68.

This game adds another concerning loss to Southern Miss’ 1-16 conference record. On the other hand, the Blazers are sitting with a 13-4 record.

“When you have only won six ball games, there is a lot on the table,” Ladner said.

Southern Miss will look to snap its losing streak against Charlotte in their final home game against Charlotte this weekend.