Southern Miss runs past Georgia Southern, finishes 15-0 at home

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, February 18, 2023

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss’ men’s basketball team ticked off yet another milestone on Saturday.

Neftali Alvarez made five of Southern Miss’ nine 3-pointers and poured in a game-high 19 points as the Golden Eagles defeated Georgia Southern 73-62.

Southern Miss (24-5, 13-3 Sun Belt Conference) finished its home schedule with a perfect 15-0 record, and tied the 2011-12 team for the most home wins in program history. That was also the last time the Golden Eagles were undefeated at home.

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“Back in the first of June, when our team first got together, one of our main goals was to be undefeated at home,” Southern Miss coach Jay Ladner said. “It’s not easy, when you look back over the course of the season, how many tough games there were. To be 15-0 is not easy.”

Southern Miss only led by five points, 43-38, after Georgia Southern’s Johnny McFatten made a layup with 13:46 left in the game.

Alvarez then bookended a 10-0 run with a layup of his own and a 3-pointer with 11:09 remaining that put the Golden Eagles ahead 53-38 and effectively put the game away. Georgia Southern never got closer than eight points again.

Alvarez’s five 3-pointers were a career high.

“He is a very, very dynamic player,” Ladner said of Alvarez. “He hasn’t shot it well, and then tonight he hits a number of 3s because people now are beginning to play under ball screens against him and so forth.”

Tyren Moore led Georgia Southern (14-15, 7-9) with 14 points. Andrei Savrasov and Carlos Curry scored 12 each.

In addition to Alvarez’s big day, Felipe Haase had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Southern Miss. DeAndre Pinckney scored 12 points, and Denijay Harris had nine points and 14 rebounds.

The Golden Eagles also dominated on the boards as they recorded 48 rebounds, the most since grabbing 49 at Jacksonville on Nov. 28, 2020.

“It wasn’t the sharpest game that we played. I thought we left a lot of points on the table. I thought we tried to get too cute a number of times on the fast break,” Ladner said. “But I also thought we were gritty, and we were hard-nosed. We defended and rebounded, and had enough offense to get the job done.”