HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (AP) — Jerrold Brooks scored 19 points to lead Southern Miss to its seventh straight win with an 81-64 victory over Charlotte on Sunday.
Jeremiah Eason scored at the 10:18 mark in the first half, sparking a 21-8 run to give the Golden Eagles (21-3, 8-1 Conference USA) a 41-22 halftime lead. Brooks hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 50-30 with 14:36 to play.
“The biggest key was our rebounding,” said Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall. “For us to win the rebounding battle by 12 (37-to-25) was critical. We were able to wear them down in the first half, causing some turnovers which enabled us to play in the open floor. We were very efficient offensively. That was a good outing, a good bounce back game heading into this road trip.”
Michael Craig scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Southern Miss. Aaron Brown added 13 points and Neil Watson had six assists.
The win keeps Southern Miss tied with UTEP atop the conference standings, and snaps a 12-game losing streak against Charlotte (14-9, 5-5 Conference USA).
Watson did not play in the second half due to an ankle injury suffered late in the first half. Tyndall said that Watson’s injury did not appear serious, but that he will undergo a precautionary X-ray on Monday.
Shawn Lester scored 20 points and had five rebounds to lead Charlotte. Pierria Henry scored 11 points and Willie Clayton added 10 points and five rebounds for the 49ers.