Southern Miss cruises past Troy

Published 5:41 pm Sunday, December 10, 2017

HATTIESBURG (AP) — Dominic Magee scored 27 points, Tyree Griffin added a career-high 23 with five assists, and Southern Miss beat Troy 89-71 on Sunday after winning the turnover battle for the ninth time this season.

Cortez Edwards scored 16 points as the Golden Eagles (5-4) made 13 3-pointers. They scored 22 points off of 13 Troy turnovers while committing just seven turnovers of their own. Southern Miss ranks third in the nation behind Hofstra and LSU for fewest turnovers per game (7.3).

Southern Miss did not have a turnover in the second half. The Golden Eagles also outrebounded Troy 26-25, marking the first time this season that they’ve had an edge in that category.

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“I really do think we played one of our better games, there’s no question about it,” Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler said. “We turned it over seven times in the first half and ended with that many. This team has really shared the ball. We’ve had 20 or more assists a few times, and if we take good shots, we can shoot. Saying all that, I think more than anything else, only giving up five offensive rebounds despite our size shows how competitive we are.”

Troy’s Wesley Person scored 20 points with four 3-pointers to become the first player in school history to make 300 career 3-pointers.

Alex Hicks hit a jumper and two free throws as Troy closed within 48-39 early in the second half, but Edwards’ jumper sparked a 14-0 run capped by Griffin’s 3 and Southern Miss coasted from there.

The Golden Eagles led by 25 points on two free throws by Magee with 9:41 left and shot 65.4 percent from the floor in the second half. Person made three 3s in the final 7:10, but Troy trailed by double digits the rest of the way.

Hicks added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Juan Davis Jr. scored 10 points for Troy (5-5). The Trojans lost their second game in a row.

“This win is huge. Everyone knows that team we played today went to the NCAA Tournament last year,” Sadler said. “They played Kentucky within eight points this year. Our players know how good they are. Beating a quality opponent will be nothing but good for us.”

Former Vicksburg High star D’Angelo Richardson finished with nine points and three rebounds for Southern Miss, which will return to action Wednesday night at Alabama A&M. Kevin Holland also had nine points for USM.

The Golden Eagles made 16 of 19 free throws as well.

“After finals week, seeing us come out and play as well and hard as we did, it’s good to see that ball go in the basket,” Sadler said.