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.
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.