USM falls

Published 12:44 am Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chris Linton scored 12 points and Lazarius Coleman scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Savannah State hold off a second-half rally to beat Southern Miss 61-56 on Friday night.

The Tigers (8-12) scored the game’s first seven points and took a 23-4 lead with 8:12 left in the first half on a jumper by Linton, who had seven rebounds. Savannah State reached halftime with a 35-20 lead.

The Golden Eagles (8-6) opened the second half with a 15-4 run, closing within four points on Brandon Cooks’ layup. Andre Stephens, who finished with 11 points, scored five points during the spurt.

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Jeremy Wise’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 50-48 for Southern Miss with 6:23 remaining. But Coleman extended the lead to 52-48 with a layup and the Golden Eagles never got closer than three points again.

Wise had a game-high 13 points for the Southern Miss, while R.L. Horton added 12.