SportsBasketballSouthern Miss collapses in overtime against UTSA

Southern Miss collapses in overtime against UTSA

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Southern Miss men’s basketball came close to ending its losing streak Thursday against the Roadrunners of UTSA but fell in an overtime bout 98-79.

UTSA outscored the Golden Eagles 22-3 in the overtime period, making all eight of their shots from the field and four from the perimeter, opening the period on a 12-0 run.

“We just didn’t play hard in overtime and defend how we were supposed to defend. That was the time we were supposed to get down and get greedy,” Southern Miss Forward Tyler Stevenson said.

The overtime loss was the largest margin of victory of any overtime loss this season in Division I basketball.  

“We just got the brakes beat off us in overtime. I don’t have any explanation for that- it’s inexcusable, Head Coach Jay Ladner said.

UTSA’s sophomore Isaiah Addo-Ankrah played a crucial component in leading the way for the Roadrunners, knocking down three three-pointers in the overtime period, finishing 7-13 from the three-point line for 21 points and three rebounds in the game.

Southern Miss fought from behind to force overtime. Down by two at 76-74 after a missed jump shot by UTSA, Stevenson drove in transition with less than five seconds remaining, getting to the basket after a pass up court from DeAndre Pinckney.

Stevenson reached the rim, missing his first attempt and second, but it eventually tipped in the rim at the buzzer, sending the Reed Green Coliseum into an uproar tied at 76.

“When I made the tip-in, I was just thinking about winning overtime at that point,” Stevenson said.

Southern Miss jumped out to a 10-3 lead after an Isaih Moore windmill dunk on a fastbreak to begin the matchup.

Southern Miss led by as many as 11 almost halfway through the first half as a jam-packed student section erupted in cheers on “Fraternity & Sorority Life Night.”

“Me and my teammates were happy to see how packed the Coliseum was. It helps to keep us going and go harder,” Stevenson said.

Things were also knotted at 38 at the half after a pair of free throws by UTSA’s Dhieu Deing closed out the half after being fouled in transition.

Deing finished the game leading all scorers at 26 points and 10 rebounds on 9 of 20 shooting from the field.

The Roadrunners were successful from downtown, shooting 7-17 from the perimeter and after shooting as high as 50% earlier in half.

On the other hand, the Golden Eagles were 0-10 in the first half from the arc, but got going from the trey on the hot hand of DeAndre Pickney in the second half.

Southern Miss then shot 60% from the three-point line as Pinckney hit four threes in the period, draining three treys in the first five minutes.

But, in overtime, the Golden Eagles were flat after Tyler Stevenson’s tip-in appeared to bring life to the Golden Eagles.

It wasn’t until a Walyn Napper score at 1:11 minutes remaining did the Golden Eagles get onto the scoreboard during the period as he recorded all three of the Golden Eagles’ overtime points.

“There is no excuse in overtime for us to be outscored 22-3 in five minutes. It will be addressed tomorrow,” Ladner said.

Napper netted a career-high of  21 points, six assists and four rebounds, leading scoring for Southern Miss.

Pinckney and  Stevenson finished with double-doubles as Stevenson ended the night with 19 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double on the season. Pinckney finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds on 6-11 shooting and 4-8 from the three-point line.

Southern Miss looks to snap its eight-game losing streak with a matchup against the Miners of UTEP Saturday, Feb. 19 at noon.

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