HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team routed cross-town rival William Carey, 87-58, in their only exhibition game before regular season play begins, Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
Senior R.L. Horton led the Golden Eagles with 17 points, while adding four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman LaShay Page, in his first game action, was 5-of-9 from behind the arc for 15 points. Senior Gary Flowers scored 12 points and had game-highs of nine rebounds and four blocks, while senior Josimar Ayarza had 11 points.
"Overall, we played well," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. I don't put much stock into this game. We were throwing guys in there a lot. We played in spurts. We have glaring weaknesses; our transition defense and our physicalness, particularly on the defensive boards. But it's fixable. I love the potential. We'll see how far we can take it."
The teams got off to a slow start, as each team scored only six points through the first seven minutes. However, the Golden Eagles went on a 26-3 run over the next eight minutes, including 21 straight at one point, to take a 32-9 lead.
The Crusaders scored six of the next eight points to cut it to 19, but Southern Miss went into the break with a 43-19 lead.
WCU opened the second half scoring the first nine points to pull within 15. But that's as close as it would get, as Southern Miss pushed its lead out to as many as 36.
The Black and Gold shot 50.8-percent (31-of-61), including connecting on 11-of-22 (50.0-percent) three-point attempts, while holding William Carey to just 29.0-percent (18-of-62) from the field. Southern Miss was outrebounded by the Crusaders, 44-40.
Drew Meyerchick led William Carey with a game-high 26 points.
The Golden Eagles open the 2010-11 regular season when they travel to Tampa, Fla. to play former Conference USA foe USF on Friday, Nov. 12. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.