HATTIESBURG, MS (WLBT) - Lewis Sullivan's heave from the deep wing banked in with less than seven seconds left in regulation, and UAB made all its shots down the overtime stretch to defeat Southern Miss, 76-72, on Saturday afternoon.
Southern Miss (17-10, 9-6 C-USA) had won its previous two overtime contests, including Feb. 9 against Louisiana Tech (73-71) and in the 2018 C-USA Quarterfinals over No. 1 Middle Tennessee (71-68).
"As I just told the team, every game at this point is going to come down like that," head coach Doc Sadler said. "You can't make the defensive mental mistakes and give up easy baskets and expect to win. We didn't make them work for their baskets once we got to the last few minutes of overtime. You have to make them score with you between them and the basket. You have to give them credit. Between the one that forced overtime and Zack Bryant's (deep three-pointer to make it a one-point deficit with 44 seconds left), it doesn't get tougher than that.
"Give them credit, they won, and we will move on to the next game."
Southern Miss knocked off the Blazers on Jan. 12 in Reed Green Coliseum as well, a 73-68 affair that featured 28 lead changes and 14 ties. This one, which needed five more minutes to decide, had seven of each.
UAB (17-11, 9-6 C-USA) led 6-5 in the early going and did not gain an advantage until overtime. Southern Miss led by 10 with 15 minutes left and by seven at 5:19. The two squads combined to shoot 27-for-43 (62.8 percent).
"The thing that we have to take away from this one is that you can't get comfortable," Sadler said. "You can get a five or six-point lead and the next thing you know, they make a three and you miss a shot. If you're down, it's not over, and if you're up, you have to finish."
Southern Miss will not hit the floor again until Sunday, March 3 at Western Kentucky. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. CT.
-Southern Miss led at the half for the 25th time in its last 27 home games.
-The three offensive rebounds allowed were a season-low.
-Cortez Edwards' 17 points gives him 1,355 for his career, passing Damien Smith (1993-97) for No. 19 all-time.
-Edwards' two steals puts him four away from catching Curtis Green (1980-84) for the school record, and his nine rebounds put him one away from cracking the school's top-15 list.
-Tyree Griffin's 10 assists moved him to No. 5 all-time in school history, passing Randy Pettus (1986-89), Jeremy Wise (2006-09) and Green on the day.
-Griffin played all 45 minutes, besting his career-high of 43 against George Mason his sophomore season at Oklahoma State.
-Edwards (43) and Leonard Harper-Baker (42) also set personal-bests in that regard.
-This was also Griffin’s fifth-career double-double, the sixth time he’s had double-figure assists and the 13th time of 20-plus points.