HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Gary Flowers scored 28 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead Southern Mississippi to a 64-54 victory over Savannah State on Thursday night to win the Hardwood Club Holiday Tournament.
Southern Miss (11-2) is off to its best start in coach Larry Eustachy's seven years.R.L. Horton added 13 points for the Golden Eagles.Jovonni Shuler scored 19 points and Joshua Montgomery added 17 points for Savannah State (2-14).Savannah State -- which played 12 of its first 16 games on the road, including visits to Indiana, Cincinnati, Dayton, Clemson and Georgia Tech -- stayed with the Golden Eagles in a first half that featured three ties and seven lead changes.The Tigers led by five points with 3:21 left in the half before Flowers and Angelo Johnson combined for all of the Golden Eagles' points in a 12-2 run for a 30-25 halftime lead.A 10-1 spurt to open the second half gave Southern Mississippi its largest lead at 40-26 with 14:17 left. But Savannah State cut the lead to 47-44 with 7:23 left.Savannah State cut the lead to three points on Preston Blackmon's 3-pointer with 1:19 left, but the Golden Eagles made 9 of 10 free throws in the final 74 seconds for the win.