Southern Miss. 77, Tulsa 69

Neil Watson made a game-tying 3-point shot with a half-second

left in regulation and Jonathan Mills scored a career-high 25

points as Southern Mississippi outlasted Tulsa 77-69 in overtime

Wednesday night.

The victory left the Golden Eagles (22-4, 9-2) tied for first in

Conference USA with Memphis (19-7, 9-2).

Tulsa (15-11, 8-4) lost for only the second time in its past 10

games.

Mills, who finished with a double-double after grabbing 10

rebounds, had a near-perfect shooting night, going 6 of 7 from the

floor and 13 of 13 from the foul line. Torye Pelham had 11 rebounds

as the Golden Eagles outrebounded the Golden Hurricane 39-34.

The Golden Eagles made 31 of 35 free throws, including 5 of 6 in

overtime.

Jordan Clarkson’s 3-pointer with 16 seconds left in regulation

broke a 63-63 tie, but Watson lofted his own 3-pointer with .5

seconds to play to send the game into overtime.

Watson finished with 18 points, while Maurice Bolden added 11

points. Tulsa got 19 points from Scottie Haralson, while Clarkson

added 17 and Steven Idlet had 10.

Mills was perfect in the first half, hitting all three of his

shots from the floor and going 7 of 7 from the free-throw line.

His teammates shot just 28.5 percent from the floor (6 of 21),

but the Golden Eagles made 14 of 15 free throws.

The Golden Hurricane, which shot 50 percent from the floor in

the first half (13 of 26), went just twice to the line, making

one.

Southern Miss, which led 34-28 at halftime, built a 15-point

lead with 9:09 to play only to see the Golden Hurricane roar

back.

Haralson and Clarkson scored seven points apiece to spark an

18-2 run, with the second of Clarkson’s two free throws giving

Tulsa a 55-54 lead with 4:17 to go.

From there, the teams dueled down the stretch.

With Tulsa leading 57-55, Bolden hit a jump-hook in the lane,

and then dropped in a 3-pointer for a 60-57 Southern Miss lead.

Idlet had a pair of low-post baskets sandwiched around a pair of

Mills free throws to get Tulsa within 62-61, and after Watson made

a free throw, Clarkson drained a 3-pointer from two steps beyond

the arc on at the top of the left wing.

Watson was called for a push-off with and Tulsa’s Eric McClellan

followed with two free throws with 6.1 seconds to play.

That proved to be enough time for Watson to streak downcourt,

and then pull up off the left arc to send the game into

overtime.

Southern Miss took over right away, as Tulsa’s three big men,

Idlet, D.J. Magley and Kodi Maduka fouled out on consecutive

possessions.

Pelham hit three free throws, and LaShay Page added two more as

the Golden Eagles built a five-point lead and never were headed