Inexperienced No More: USM Earns First C-USA Win over ODU

Prior to Saturday's contest, Old Dominion had already beaten both Conference USA teams Southern Miss has lost to this season (Louisiana Tech, Charlotte).

The following is an official press release courtesy of Jack Duggan of Southern Miss Athletics.

Price Scores 20 to Lead Southern Miss Past ODU Saturday night

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Khari Price collected a career-best tying 20 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 2:04 remaining, to lift Southern Miss to a 73-71 Conference USA victory over Old Dominion here Saturday night at Reed Green Coliseum.

The Golden Eagles (4-10 overall, 1-2 C-USA) snapped a two-game losing streak as Kourtlin Jackson added 13 points and Quinton Campbell chipped in 11.

Trey Freeman paced the Monarchs (9-7, 2-1) with 24 points, while Aaron Bacote tallied 15 points off the bench.

Southern Miss led 34-31 at the half thanks to three key 3-pointers from Campbell in the opening 20 minutes, including one to put the home squad ahead 25-24, rallying from a 10-point deficit at that point, with 3:38 left in the half.

In the second half, the two teams saw four ties and six lead changes. After leading by as many five points early in the second half, the Monarchs rallied and took their own advantage of 50-44 with 10:23 remaining after a Freeman bucket.

“At that point with such a fragile team, that hasn’t experience a lot of success and could have gone either way at that point, we showed our toughness to come back and win a basketball game,” said Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler. “Winning is the key there, but just the fact that we did show that toughness when we got down and we competed (down the stretch).”

Down by six at that point, Price then hit a 3-pointer and Jackson added a jumper to cut the gap. After a pair of free throws to push the Monarch advantage to three points, Michael Ramey then hit a 3-pointer – his only basket of the game – to tie the score at 52-52 with 6:32 left.

ODU then took its final lead with a Stephen Vassor basket on its next possession, but Price nailed a three with 5:01 left to give the Golden Eagles the lead again.

Down the stretch, the game feature one more knotted up score at 60-60, with 2:32 left, after Freeman hit a pair of free throws. It was Price, though, again putting the Golden Eagles ahead for the final time in the game with his clutch basket.

The squad also hit 8-of-10 free throws over the final 49 seconds to help ice the contest, as Price made 4-of-6 during that span.

Southern Miss turned the ball over just seven times in the contest and converted 18-of-21 free throws to finish the contest.

The Golden Eagles return to action Thursday, Jan. 14, when they travel to Florida Atlantic for the first of a two-game Florida road swing. The game starts at 6 p.m. CT.

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