Dec. 10, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Louisiana Tech men's basketball team fell to a hot-shooting Southern Miss squad 78-62 Saturday night in front of 2,714 fans at Reed Green Coliseum as senior guard Trevor Gaskins (Alpharetta, Ga.) scored 15 points to pace the Bulldogs.
"We faced a high-level team that was firing on all cylinders tonight," said head coach Michael White. "On the interior, Southern Miss was really good offensively and showed a lot of athleticism on the defensive side of the ball."
Tech took an early 4-2 advantage on a layup from freshman guard Raheem Appleby (Jacksonville, Ark.) that resulted in the Golden Eagles calling a timeout. Afterwards, USM went on a 7-0 run over the next 2:37 to put Tech down 9-4.
Three-point baskets from sophomore guard Cordarius Johnson (Coushatta, La.) and Gaskins the next 1:25 of action gave the Bulldogs a 10-9 advantage with 13:30 left in the first half.
The Golden Eagles came back with another run, 14-4, over the next 5:57 as Tech fell behind 25-13.
Two three-point baskets from Johnson in the final minute of the half cut the Bulldogs deficit to 42-29 entering halftime.
"We played hard but dug ourselves a hole in the first half because of our carelessness with the ball," White said. "We had guys that were trying to push a little too much to make something out of nothing."
In the second half Tech was able to cut the Golden Eagles lead to 10, 51-41 on a three-pointer from Gaskins with 14:17 remaining in the game. USM then went on a 12-2 run over the next 3:55 to put the Bulldogs down by 20.
After the Golden Eagles took a 21-point advantage at the 6:13 mark, Tech responded with a 6-0 run over the next 2:32 to cut the deficit to 71-56 behind four points from junior forward J.L. Lewis (Gonzales, La.).
Along with Gaskins' 15, Johnson and sophomore guard Lonnie Smith added 11 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench. Lewis had a game-high eight rebounds while freshman guard Kenneth Smith (St. Petersburg, Fla.) had game-best five assists.
Freshman forward Michale Kyser (Lancaster, Texas) blocked three shots on the night.
As a team Tech shot 38 percent (21-55) from the field including 9-of-24 (37.5%) from beyond the arc. At the free throw line, the team went 11-for-15 (73.3%).
The Golden Eagles had four players scoring in double-figures led by Maurice Bolden's 17. Jonathan Mills added 16 while Angelo Johnson and Torye Pelham scored 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Bolden also had a game-high four blocks and a team-best seven rebounds.
USM went 29-for-57 (50.9%) from the field and shot 83 percent (15-18) at the free throw line.
The Bulldogs return home to face in-state for McNeese State on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Thomas Assembly Center.