Golden Eagles cruise to 111-66 win in Season Opener

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- It was a team-wide effort for the Southern Miss men's basketball team in its 2018-19 opener, taking down Southeastern Baptist 111-66 on Tuesday night.

It was the program's 10th-highest scoring game, and best output of the Doc Sadler era.

"Overall tonight, I was pleased," Sadler said. "It's the first game. I think any time you score like that, you have to be pleased. We scored 111 points, and we had some guys who hadn't been big scorers really step up. We didn't even need guys like Gabe Watson, Kevin Holland and Cortez Edwards, who are some of our best shooters, to get that many, and that's a positive."

Southern Miss utilized a 19-4 run that put it ahead 31-10 with 7:54 left in the first half. The lead got to 39-15 two minutes later after Tyler Stevenson sank two free-throws.

Each of the Golden Eagles two leading scorers at the break, Stevenson (11) and Leonard Harper-Baker (10), were making their Southern Miss debuts.

The Black and Gold led 52-26 at the break and outscored the Chargers 59-40 in the second half.

When it was all said and done, five Golden Eagles reached double-figures. Stevenson and Dominic Magee led the way with 15 points, followed by Anfernee Hampton with 14, LaDavius Draine with 13 and Tyree Griffin with 12.

"Defensively, I was disappointed," Sadler said. "We let the ball get into the lane 36-38 times, and if you get above the mid-20s against a lot of teams, it's hard to win. We have to get that corrected. We also need to shoot free-throws better. We started late last year with that too, but we got better as it went on. Bottom line, anytime you win, you have to be happy, and we are tonight."

Southern Miss (1-0) now looks ahead to a Sunday battle at SMU, airing on ESPN3. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. CT.

NOTABLE
-Cortez Edwards finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was aiming to become the first Golden Eagle with a triple-double since Ronald Jackson in 1980.
-Edwards now has 972 points in his career.
-Edwards' 10 assists matched a career-high, previously set vs. Rice on Jan. 18, 2018. He also recorded his 10th double-figure rebounding game.
-The five Golden Eagles in double-figures marked the team's first-such feat since Feb. 2, 2017 against Marshall.
-Southern Miss had 34 free-throw attempts after crossing the 30-mark four times last year.
-Boban Jacdonmi and LaDavius Draine each made their first-career starts.
-This was the first all-time meeting between the two Pine Belt schools.