MIAMI, Fla. (WDAM) -The University of Southern Mississippi men’ basketball team snapped an eight-game losing streak Friday night with an 85-72 win at Florida International University.
But the Golden Eagles will have to wait until next weekend to try and put together a winning streak.
Saturday’s second-game of a two-game Conference USA series between the Panthers and the Golden Eagles was postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.
USM will not play again until Feb. 26-`27, when it hosts Florida Atlantic University at Reed Green Coliseum in the regular season’s final scheduled series.
Friday night, USM dominated the final 12 minutes of the game, shooting 70 percent in a second half that saw the Golden Eagles outscore the Panthers 48-21.
Tyler Stevenson finished a rebound shy of a “double-double,” putting up 27 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Tae Hardy added 20 points, with 19 coming after halftime.
Hardy also had six rebounds and five assists.
The game had a familiar feel, as USM once again trailed big early, down 16 points in the opening half.
The Golden Eagles (8-14, 4-11 C-USA) trimmed the deficit to six by halftime, then twice fell behind by 10 points.
Down 62-52 with 12 minutes, 33 seconds to play, USM ripped off a 13-2 run. DeAndre Pinckney’s layup gave USM a 65-64 lead.
After trading baskets, the Golden Eagles went on a 16-2 tear, capped by Hardy’s layup, that left USM up 83-68 with 2:54 to play.
The 85 points were the most scored this season by USM, which shot 61 percent from the floor. Friday marked the Golden Eagles’ first win when an opponent scored 70 points or more.
LaDavius Draine scored 12 points for USM, 10 in the first half, while adding four rebounds, five assists and four steals. Pinckney finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
FIU (9-15, 2-13) got 15 points and six assists from Tevin Brewer. Isaiah Banks added 15 points, Dimon Carrigan had 11 points and eight rebounds and Antonio Daye Jr, added 10 points, four rebounds and five assists.
The win snapped USM’s eight-game losing streak, but the Golden Eagles by