Mississippi basketball roundup: Southern Miss, state teams have a rough day

Published 8:40 pm Saturday, January 22, 2022

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Southern Miss was red hot in the first half Saturday and ice cold in the second.
It was not a winning combination.

Southern Miss shot 60.9 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, and then only 36.4 percent in the second half. The swoon allowed Middle Tennessee to blow past the Golden Eagles and secure a 74-60 victory.

After trailing by as much as 12 points in the first half, the Blue Raiders (12-6, 3-2 Conference USA) cut it to three at the half. They then used a 21-4 run early in the second half to take the lead for good.

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Middle Tennessee outscored Southern Miss 44-27 in the second half, as the Golden Eagles made just 8 of 22 shots from the field. They were 1-for-12 from 3-point range in the game, and missed all nine attempts in the second half.

The Golden Eagles also grabbed only two offensive rebounds in the game.

Tyler Stevenson had a double-double for Southern Miss (6-12, 1-4), with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Mo Arnold added 12 points and DeAndre Pinckney had nine.

Donovan Sims led Middle Tennesse with 16 points, while Josh Jefferson and Teafale Lenard scored 12 apiece.

The Blue Raiders shot 60.9 percent in the second half after shooting 37.5 percent in the first — a near flip of Southern Miss’ stat line.

“We started the game flat, we just didn’t look like ourselves the way we’ve been defending all year long, and it burned us in those first eight minutes,” Middle Tennessee coach Nick McDevitt said.

Florida A&M 70, Alcorn State 68
MJ Randolph had 21 points as Florida A&M narrowly beat Alcorn State for its fourth straight win.

Johnny Brown made a 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining to give Florida A&M (6-11, 4-2 Southwestern Athletic Conference) a 68-67 lead. Randolph added two free throws with three seconds left before the Rattlers fouled Oddyst Walker, who made one free throw and intentionally missed the second.

Keith Littles added 16 points for the Rattlers. Bryce Moragne added 11 points and Brown finished with 10.

Keondre Montgomery had 17 points for the Braves (5-13, 4-2). Justin Thomas added 13 points and five steals. Lenell Henry had 12 points.

Alcorn lost its second game in a row after winning its first four SWAC games. Its last three games have been decided by a total of four points.

Bethune-Cookman 55, Jackson State 50
Kevin Davis had 18 points, and Marcus Garrett had 14 points and seven assists as Bethune-Cookman (5-13, 3-3 SWAC) defeated Jackson State (4-13, 3-3).

Bethune-Cookman used an 8-2 run in the last four minutes of the game to pull away after Jackson State cut it to 47-45 on a layup by Jonas James.

The Tigers never led after the 8:55 mark of the first half, but Bethune-Cookman’s lead never reached double digits, either.

Jayveous McKinnis had 16 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks for Jackson State. Ken Evans Jr. added 14 points and six rebounds. Terence Lewis II had nine rebounds.

Grambling 68, Mississippi Valley State 64
Eric Parrish had 17 points and 12 rebounds to carry Grambling State over Mississippi Valley State.
Tra’Michael Moton had 14 points for Grambling (6-12, 3-2 SWAC), which trailed by seven with 6 1/2 minutes left and then went on a 17-1 run to take a 68-59 lead with 10 seconds left.

Valley scored two quick baskets late to make the score a bit closer.

Prince Moss added 11 points and six rebounds for Grambling, and AJ Taylor had 10 points.

Gary Grant had 17 points for Valley (1-16, 1-6), whose losing streak stretched to four games. Caleb Hunter added 13 points. Devin Gordon had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Shorter 61, Mississippi College 56
Ricky Knight Jr. scored 17 points, Mark Wilcox Jr. had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Shorter College (4-11, 1-9 Gulf South Conference) beat Mississippi College (4-12, 2-7).

Knight hit a jumper with 7:15 left in the game to snap a 48-all tie, and Shorter never trailed again. Knight also hit a 3-pointer with 3:27 to go that gave Shorter its biggest lead in the final stretch, 57-50.

Miles Miller led Mississippi College with 18 points and six rebounds, and Judah Jordan had 13 points and nine rebounds.