The Southern Miss men’s basketball team bounced back from a three-game losing streak on Wednesday night, defeating Old Dominion 78-73 at home.
Thanks to a career night from Austin Crowley – who had 30 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists – the Golden Eagles (13-11, 7-5 Sun Belt) were able to overcome a halftime deficit to take down the Monarchs (6-18, 2-10 Sun Belt).
With Southern Miss behind the majority of the first half, the Golden Eagles finally took the lead after Picayune native Mo Arnold dished the ball to Donovan Ivory for a three-point basket. The shot gave USM a one-point lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.
However, the Monarchs stuck around and pulled it back within two possessions at 67-63 with just over four minutes left in the game. The Golden Eagles responded with a 12-7 run before Old Dominion guard Bryce Barker hit a three-point shot with 24 seconds left to cut the lead back to five at 78-73. Two consecutive offensive rebounds for Southern Miss would secure the victory.
Head coaches not present
Unfortunately for Southern Miss, head coach Jay Ladner had to miss the game after suffering a medical emergency on Tuesday. While Ladner recovers at Forrest General Hospital, associate head coach Juan Cardona has stepped into the role on an interim basis.
In his first game at the helm, the energetic Cardona was issued a technical foul minutes into the second half but was able to stay composed for the rest of the game and lead the team to a much-needed win.
Numbers don’t lie
Southern Miss had an impressive night offensively, shooting over 46 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. Along with Crowley’s best outing of the season, Donovan Ivory added 16 points and right rebounds. Victor Iwuako had double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks.
The Monarchs were led in scoring by Chaunce Jenkins, who finished with 22 points. Tyrone Williams had 17 points, nine rebounds, and five steals.
Southern Miss will host Western Michigan on Saturday with tipoff set at 1 p.m. CT/ It will be the final matchup of the MAC-SBC Challenge.