Jan. 14, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Maurice Bolden's 3-pointer with 58.3 seconds to play gave Southern Miss the lead for good, and Neil Watson and Jonathan Mills each hit clutch free throws down the stretch as the Golden Eagles edged UAB 59-55 on Saturday.
UAB (5-11, 0-3) has dropped its first three league contests by a combined total of nine points, and have held the lead late in each contest. However, the Blazers are still searching for their first C-USA victory this season.
"We are so close to becoming a really good team," UAB head coach Mike Davis said. "We need to find a way to start closing games. All three of our conference games we have had a chance to win and led down the stretch, but haven't been able to close it out. We are all frustrated, but we cannot hang our heads. There are still a lot of games left in the season."
The Blazers certainly had their chances in the contest that featured four ties and 10 lead changes. Trailing 44-40 at the 8:24 mark, UAB used a 13-3 run over the next 3:26 to take what looked to be a commanding 53-47 lead with 4:58 remaining. The Blazers had three treys during the stretch, two coming from Swing who tied his career high for threes made in a game.
However, the Golden Eagles would answer, ending the contest on a decisive 12-2 spurt, including 4-of-4 free throws to seal the win.
Swingman Darnell Dodson, who had managed just four points in Southern Miss' last two games, scored 15 points to lead the Golden Eagles, while Watson added 11.
The Blazers saw a three-game winning streak in Hattiesburg snapped.
The Blazers, who are in the midst of playing three of four games on the road, will next travel to Houston, Texas to square off against Rice. That contest will take place Wednesday night at 7 p.m.