Golden Eagles win against South Alabama in return for Reed-Green

Southern Miss Sports information

HATTSBURG, Miss. (WDAM) — In front of the biggest crowd of the Jay Ladner era, the Southern Miss men’s basketball team (16-4, 5-2 SBC) maintained the swagger on Highway 98 Alabama (Alabama Aug -11, 2-5 SBC) on Thursday evenings.

Austin Crowley wowed the 4,128 fans in attendance at the Reed Green Coliseum with a performance of 25 points.

The Crowley show started early as the junior guard accounted for eight of the Southern Miss’s first ten points. The Golden Eagles got off to a quick start as they forged an 11-point lead over the Jaguars just over five minutes into the game.

At the 14:23 mark of the first half, Greenhouse loyalists earned Neftali Alvarez a standing ovation as the Puerto Rican guard checked in for the first time since Nov. 14. Alvarez continued to be active for 10 minutes, finishing with an assist and a block.

The walls of the Reed Green Coliseum nearly collapsed on this stretch when Crowley flipped South Alabama and hit a one-handed slam. Despite the momentum favoring Southern Miss, South Alabama managed to pull off an 8-0 run to make it a one-point game 6-23 at the half.

Felipe Haase and Victor Hart tried to fend off the Jaguars with a barrage of points late in the first half, but South Alabama managed to take the first lead of the game at 2:08 on the clock. Isaiah Moore extended the lead to five before Denijay Harris and Crowley reduced it to two over time.

Southern Miss was ready to go to the dressing room at two, but Kevin Samuel buzzed to make it 37-33 at the break. After their blistering start, the Golden Eagles were limited to a 38 percent shot clip in the first half thanks to a six-minute scoring drought.

Crowley scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half, including a three. Southern Miss leveled the game and regained the lead within the first four minutes of the second half after DeAndre Pinckney connected with a pair of threes.

The lead never got bigger than four until a 6-0 run was topped with another Crowley hammer to put Southern Miss ahead by eight.

With a 56-48 lead, that lead quickly faded as the Jaguars used a 7-0 run to retire within one. Greg Parham II then gave South Alabama a 60-59 lead after a three-pointer with 8-02 in the game.

The Golden Eagles and Jaguars played hot potato with the lead for the next six minutes. Then play the Haase dagger. The Chilean converted a one and one against Samuel, giving Southern Miss a three-goal lead with 59 seconds remaining.

Haase and Crowley then converted three free throws on the stretch to thwart the four-point win.

The win was Southern Miss’ 16th of the season and ninth at Reed Green Coliseum. His 9-0 start at home is the third-best of the past 20 seasons.

Haase finished the tournament with 18 points, his highest since his 19 loss to McNeese on December 18. Pinckney added 18 points and six rebounds to go into double figures for the 14th time this season.

After a career-best 22 points at Arkansas State, Harris had 11 points and nine rebounds. He walked an efficient 5-of-8 off the floor.

Both teams went 5-of-26 from beyond the arc while Southern Miss shot 40 percent from the floor.

The Golden Eagles meet James Madison on Saturday, January 21 at 2:00 p.m. at the Reed Green Coliseum.

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