Hattiesburg, MS (Sports Network) - Jonathan Mills knocked down a pair of free throws with less than a second left on the clock as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles captured a thrilling 58-56 win over the Rice Owls in Conference USA action at Reed Green Coliseum.
Mills finished the night with 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds for the Golden Eagles (23-6, 10-4 C-USA) as they not only snapped a two-game slide but also rewarded head coach Larry Eustachy with the 400th win of his career. Neil Watson shot just 3-of-11 from the floor but still finished with 14 points and Maurice Bolden tacked on 10 points and eight boards for the hosts.
The Owls (16-13, 7-7) were paced by Dylan Ennis who registered a double-double with game highs of 18 points and 10 boards, but still the team bowed for the second time in the last three outings. Arsalan Kazemi contributed 17 points and nine rebounds as well.
Rice shot just 9-of-26 from the field in the first half, including 3-of-12 behind the three-point line, and add to that a 0-of-3 showing at the free- throw line and it was easy to see why the visitors trailed by eight at the break, 29-21.
In the second half the Owls came storming back with an impressive 52.2 percent effort from the field, while at the same time holding USM to just 25 percent, but down the stretch it was Mills who snapped the fifth tie of the night and provided the hosts with the victory.
The Golden Eagles won the game at the free-throw line where they outscored Rice by a 17-9 margin.
02/25 23:49:31 ET
Copyright ??2010 Athlon Sports, Inc. Athlon Sports and the Athlon Sports logo are trademarks of Athlon Sports, Inc. | About Us