HATTIESBURG — Neil Watson scored 18 points, Maurice Bolden added 11 and Southern Mississippi beat Southern Methodist 67-60 on Wednesday night.
Southern Miss (24-6, 11-4 Conference USA) led for the entire game, but struggled to put the lowly Mustangs away. Watson scored 13 of his 18 in the second half as the Golden Eagles pulled away in the final minutes.
Southern Miss shot 52.2 percent (24-of-46) from the field and enjoyed a huge 37-19 advantage on the glass. The Golden Eagles stayed one game behind Memphis for the C-USA lead.
SMU (12-18, 3-12) was led by Robert Nyakundi’s 18 points while Jeremiah Samarrippas added 13. Nyakundi hit three 3-pointers in the second half to keep the Mustangs in the game, but they couldn’t find a way to overcome poor defense and rebounding.