Alabama Men’s Basketball Holds Off Southern Miss, 58-55
The Alabama men’s basketball won its third consecutive game on Friday night, defeating Southern Miss for its first true road win, 58-55. The Tide used a big 19-4 second half run to hold off the Golden Eagles, as Alabama improves to 5-2 on the year.
Senior Retin Obasohan led the Tide with a season-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds and three steals.. Arthur Edwards set a career high for the second consecutive game, tallying 17 while going 5-of-8 from behind the arc, to go along with five boards. Junior Shannon Hale, Alabama’s leading scorer, finished with nine points but struggled offensively, hitting just 3-of-10 shots from the floor on the night.
Trailing by five points, 39-34, at the 15:29 mark of the second half, the Tide used a 19-4 run over the next 8:03 to build a ten-point lead at 53-43 with 7:09 to play. That run included a 12-0 stretch when Southern Miss failed to score for eight minutes while shooting 0-of-9.
Alabama struggled to put the game away, going on a scoring drought of its own. The Tide failed to score for nearly four minutes after taking a 10-point lead and Southern Miss cut the lead down to three in the final seconds. Freshman guard Dazon Ingram had a chance to seal the win, but missed both his free throws. Southern Miss came down and took two three-pointers, but both were off the mark and Alabama walked away with the three-point win.
“You have to give credit to Southern Miss,” head coach Avery Johnson said. “They came out and hit some big-time shots. They started the game well and they really frustrated us defensively. In the second half, we took the momentum but we have to learn to finish games. In the end, I am proud of the way our guys came back from a tough first half and at the end of the day, we got the win on the road, so I am happy.
“Arthur played great and was the player of the game for us,” Johnson continued. “He and I had a heart to heart at halftime and he took it like a man. He came out and hit some clutch shots. I am proud of the way he played tonight.”
The game started with a volley of three pointers. No field goals were made from inside the arc for the first six minutes as Southern Miss took a 10-9 lead. At the 12:30 mark, Alabama used a 6-0 run over 5:32 to take a 19-14 lead. The Golden Eagles (0-6) had a six-minute scoring drought and shot 0-of-6 while the Tide built its lead.
However, Southern Miss outscored the Tide 16-10 over the final 10 minutes of the first half. It looked like Alabama would take a 29-27 lead into the locker room, but USM’s Khari Price hit a buzzer-beating shot over three quarters of the court to give the Eagles a 30-29 halftime lead – their first halftime lead this season.
Alabama came out of the break with five unanswered points to take a 34-30 lead with 17:23 to play. The Golden Eagles immediately answered with nine straight points to take its largest lead of the game at five points, 39-34, with 15:29 on the clock. But that was the last points the Golden Eagles would score for the next eight minutes as the Tide pulled ahead.
The two teams combined to make 22 three-point baskets with each shooting 11-of-29. Alabama blocked six shots, but was outrebounded 35-28.
Price finished with 16 points to lead Southern Miss. Eddie Davis III was second on the team with 11 points. Davis’ eight rebounds were a game high. Raheem Watts had six rebounds.
Alabama will have more than a week off due to exams before its next game. The Tide heads to Clemson to face the Tigers on Sunday, Dec. 13. ESPNU will broadcast the contest with tipoff scheduled for 5 p.m. CT (6 p.m. ET).