HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A 54-point second half helped Southern Miss defeat the Marshall men’s basketball team, 91-76, on Thursday evening at the Reed Green Arena.
With the loss, the Herd fell to 13-10 overall, 6-4 in C-USA, while the Golden Eagles rose to 7-15, 4-6 C-USA.
Junior guard Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) had a team-high 21 points, Stevie Browning (Logan, W.Va.) had 18 points and Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) collected his 35th career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Southern Miss’ Quinton Campbell led the Golden Eagles with a game-high 24 points.
The teams exchanged buckets throughout the first half to the point where the two sides were tied at 32-32 at the 4:07 mark in the first half. From there, the Herd pulled away, going on a 12-5 run to close things out. That run came from two Loop 3-pointers and field goals from Elmore, C.J. Burks (Martinsburg, W.Va.) plus a Taylor buzzer-beater. Marshall closed the first half with a 44-37 lead.
Elmore led the group with 15 points from 5-of-9 shooting and 1-of-3 three-pointers, while Browning had 12 points from 5-of-8 shooting and 2-of-4 threes. Marshall finished the first half shooting 16-of-31 (51.6) and 6-of-17 (35.3 percent) from three-point land. Southern Miss shot 15-32 (46.9 percent) and 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) three-pointers.
The second half began with Marshall jumping to a 48-39 lead thanks to a Taylor’s three-pointer and an Elmore free throw at the 17:20 mark. Marshall carried a 61-53 lead at the 13:10 mark, but Southern Miss mounted a comeback. The Golden Eagles went on a 13-3 run to give Southern Miss a 66-64 lead at the 8:25 point. The Golden Eagles led for the rest of the way and won 91-76.
Marshall finished the game shooting 26-of-62 (41.9 percent), 9-of-30 (30.0 percent) three-pointers and 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) from the free throw line. Southern Miss shot 32-of-60 (53.3 percent), 9-of-16 (56.3 percent) from three-point land and 18-of-29 (62.1 percent) from the foul line.
Head coach Dan D’Antoni
“I didn’t feel good the entire time. When it comes to our slip ups, we have to fight through them. Jon Elmore had chances to shoot free throws in the first half and he missed them. It just doesn’t feel right. I know this, if we can’t play better defense now, I don’t know why we practice. We might as well practice and keep on playing, because we stress defense. We were standing up and moving around. We’ve had games where we played it well. We just have to get our group together.”
On the game:
“We have to play with confidence. We didn’t play with a lot of confidence. We came out and things started getting iffy. When things didn’t go our way, we started getting iffy with everything and it wasn’t easy. When you start being not confident and looking over your shoulder, that’s when things get bad. We have to put ourselves back together and get our chemistry back.”
On foul trouble:
“We were a step slow. We aren’t mentally prepared sometimes. We’ve had players off their game. We need to decide that we are going to win this.”
Ryan Taylor collected his league-leading 35th career double-double.
Austin Loop’s career 3-pointers are at 257.
Loop just needs one more to jump into the top-10 in C-USA for career threes.
It was Loop’s eighth game this season with at least five 3-pointers in a game.
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Marshall stays on the road and travels to Ruston, La., to take on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. ET. Louisiana Tech leads the overall series, 5-0.