Southern Miss 70, Tulsa 65

Saturday, February 10th 2007, 9:13 pm
By: News On 6

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Southern Mississippi basketball coach Larry Eustachy had been waiting for his young team to play like veterans.

The third-year coach got what he had been waiting for on Saturday.

Freshman guard Jeremy Wise scored 24 points and Southern Miss overcame a 14-point 2nd-half deficit to beat Tulsa 70-65.

The Golden Eagles (15-8, 5-5) snapped a two-game losing streak. The visiting Golden Hurricane (15-8, 5-5) lost for just the second time in 16 games in their first-ever trip to Hattiesburg.

"In the past, we would have caved in and this would have been a 20 or 25-point loss," Eustachy said. "We're a young team and this was a big win for us to pull it out like this late in the game."

Wise and Sai'Quon Stone combined for 31 of Southern Miss' 44 2nd-half points, and both made a pair of free throws in the final 18 seconds to help the Golden Eagles get the win.

Tulsa shot almost 63 percent from the field in the 1st-half, and made 6 of 8 shots from 3-point range to take a 39-26 halftime lead. But the Golden Hurricane opened the 2nd-half missing 15 of their first 18 shots.

"It was about two of the most opposite halves of basketball I've ever seen," Tulsa coach Doug Wojcik said. "We had a good lead, but you have to give them credit. They never quit. We went cold, and they made some shots and the momentum turned, and that's not a good thing to happen when you're on the road."

Wise's 2-free throws with 6-seconds left completed a 33-18 run over the final 12 minutes of play for the Golden Eagles.

Stone added 18 points to the winning cause, 17 coming in the 2nd-half. Craig Craft, who also had a big 3-point play late in the game, chipped in 12 for Southern Miss.

"It wasn't a must win for us, but it was about as close to one as you could come," Eustachy added. "We responded in the 2nd-half and played much better."

Rod Earls paced Tulsa with 16 points, while Ben Uzoh added 12 and Brett McDade 10.

Jerome Jordan had 8-rebounds for Tulsa, and Gijo Bain had the same number for Southern Miss.