Jan. 12, 2008
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Tulane senior David Gomez scored 12 points and sophomore Kevin Sims added 10 points, but the Green Wave suffered through a 32.7 percent shooting performance in a 71-54 loss to Southern Miss in front of 3,210 at Reed Green Coliseum.
Tulane (10-6, 0-2 C-USA) roared out of the gates in the first half and outscored Southern Miss (9-7, 1-1 C-USA), 12-4, in the opening minutes. However, following a media timeout the Golden Eagles quickly stole Tulane's momentum when they reeled off a 29-8 run to close the half and take control of the game.
The run began when R.L. Horton was fouled on a three-pointer and he stepped to the line and hit all three attempts. USM then received a pair of three-pointers from Jeremy Wise and Craig Craft.
After scoring 12 points in the first 5:16, the Wave misplaced its shooting touch. Southern Miss took advantage and continued the scoring onslaught, and led by as many as 11 points when Wise sank two free throws in the final minutes.
The Golden Eagles gathered 10 offensive boards in the opening period en route to a 24-18 advantage, and connected on 11-of-13 free throw attempts, while Wise paced the home team with 12 points.
Although USM shot just 31 percent in the first 20 minutes, the Golden Eagles' defense held Tulane to a 26.9 percent effort from the field.
Courtney Beasley made the Green Wave forget any ideas of a comeback by scoring his team's first 12 points of the second half and sending the Golden Eagles out to a 45-29 advantage at the 15:32 mark.
Tulane trailed by as many as 18 points, but did rally late in the game to slice the deficit to 10 points when sophomore Eric Vianney stole the ball and dribbled the length of the court for a lay-up to trim the lead to 60-50 with 4:13 remaining.
But this day belong to the Golden Eagles. Tulane had a chance to get closer but senior Donnavan Stith missed a jumper after a steal and USM outscored TU 11-4 in the final minutes.
Tulane finished the game 16-of-49 from the field for 32.7 percent, including just 19 percent from behind the three-point line. Southern Miss controlled the boards, 41-29, and sizzled from the field in the second half, hitting on 59.1 percent, and finished the game with a 43.1 percent effort.
Wise led all scorers with 23 points, while Beasley added 19 points.
The loss also snapped TU's three straight wins against Southern Miss in the series.