USM athletics’ busy winter break

Over the winter break, the Southern Miss men’s and women’s basketball teams finished their respective non-conference schedules and moved into Conference USA action while other teams in athletics witnessed coaching changes and special player recognitions.

Men’s Basketball Team
The Golden Eagles went 1-3 in their last four games in the month of December, defeating Spring Hill at home before going 0-3 on a three-game road trip, losing to Jackson State, Georgia
State and LSU.

Southern Miss used clutch free throw shooting to top Spring Hill, despite shooting just 40 percent from the field in the game. During the final 1:16 of the game, the Golden Eagles went 9-of-10 from the free throw line to
seal the victory.

Davon Hayes led Southern Miss in scoring with a career-high 16 points, followed by Rasham Suarez, who also recorded a career-high 16 points.
The Golden Eagles struggled against a very physical Jackson State team, who limited the Golden Eagles in its opportunities to score.

The Golden Eagles, who entered the game with a 21-game winning streak against Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponents, could not get in rhythm as the Tigers held Southern Miss to only eight points with nearly seven minutes to play in the first half.

At halftime, JSU led USM 38-16. In the second half, the struggles and issues continued for Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles cut the deficit as low as 15 points, but the Tigers maintained control in the second half to defeat the Golden Eagles 66-46.

Southern Miss shot a dismal 37 percent from the field. Matt Bingaya led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 20 points and 10 rebounds, posting his second career double-double.
Following an embarrassing loss against Jackson State, Southern Miss went on the road to take on Georgia State, who capitalized on 22 Golden Eagle turnovers to defeat Southern Miss, 68-55.
Southern Miss committed eight early turnovers which allowed Georgia State to go on a huge run, giving the Panthers a 34-18 lead with almost 4:00 to play
in the first half.

The Golden Eagles fought back with multiple scoring series, allowing them to go in the half trailing 38-29.

After halftime, Southern Miss started the half on fire scoring the first four points before going in a drought and committing numerous turnovers, leading to Georgia State capitalizing on them and dominating the
remainder of the game.

Southern Miss shot 39 percent from the field and Chip Armelin led the way in scoring for the Golden Eagles with a
career-high 16 points.

In the last of the three-game road trip, things remained the same as LSU defeated Southern Miss 87-67.
A strong offensive performance lifted LSU continued throughout the game. The Tigers shot 49 percent from the field while the Golden Eagles shot 40 percent. A critical stat, LSU won the battle on the boards, crushing
Southern Miss 46-28.

Armelin led the way for the Golden Eagles, scoring a career-high 28 points and six rebounds.
This month, Southern Miss began conference play at home against Louisiana Tech. Despite Southern Miss shooting a stellar 63 percent from the field, the Golden Eagles recorded 19 turnovers in the game as Louisiana Tech defeated Southern Miss 83-70.

Despite trailing at the half 45-29, the Golden Eagles put up a tremendous fight to get back in the game. With 12 minutes remaining in the half, Southern Miss trailed 59-49. But the Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run to increase the lead.

The Bulldogs went 6-for-8 from the free throw line to close out the game. Armelin led all Southern Miss scorers with 23
points in the game.

Southern Miss went on the road to face UTSA, looking to get its first conference victory for the season. However, it was not a game in favor of the Golden Eagles as UTSA defeated Southern Miss 77-57.
UTSA jumped out to an early lead, scoring the first 12 points of the game. Despite Southern Miss going a small run, the Roadrunners went on a huge run and dominated the remainder of the first half, leading 44-32 at
the half.

In the second half, UTSA maintained control of the game, scoring the first 10 points of the second half and never looked back throughout the game.
For the game, Southern Miss shot 48 percent from the field while UTSA shot 56 percent from the field. Armelin led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 19 points and five rebounds.

Women’s Basketball Team Round-Up

The Lady Eagles went 1-2 in the last three games of its non-conference schedule before defeating Louisiana Tech and UTEP in conference play.
No. 22 ranked Mississippi State crushed Southern Miss 73-46.

With the loss, the Lady Eagles recorded their lowest points in a half with eight and its worst shooting percentage in a half.
Southern Miss played a tough, competitive game against Ole Miss but it was free throws made by the Lady Rebels that allowed them to defeat the
Lady Eagles, 68-66.

Tamara Jones led the way for the Lady Eagles in scoring with 16 points. Southern Miss shot 44 percent from field while Ole Miss shot 42 percent.
However, the Lady Eagles committed 16 turnovers which led to 20 points for Ole Miss and shot 56 percent from the charity stripe.
Following a two-game losing streak, the Lady Eagles bounced back in a huge way, defeating Nicholls State in commanding fashion, 89-57.
Southern Miss won the battle on the boards 44-34, forced Nicholls State to commit 27 turnovers and scoring 28 points in return and shot 52 percent from the
field for the game.

In a solid all-around performance, Tamara Jones led all Lady Eagle scorers with a season-high 33 points in the victory.
In conference play, the Lady Eagles defeated Louisiana Tech 79-77 on the road in overtime and edged UTSA at home in
overtime, 69-60.

Both wins were critical in the Lady Eagles starting the conference schedule off in a strong way.