USD falls in nonconference finale to So. Mississippi

VERMILLION, S.D. – Southern Mississippi shot 50 percent from the field in the second half to overcome a five-point halftime deficit to top the South Dakota men's basketball team 66-60 Friday night inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

South Dakota (6-7) pushed its lead to six points in the opening minutes of the second half, but a 9-3 run from Southern Miss knotted the game at 42-all with 13:01 remaining in the game. The Golden Eagles (7-4) then used a 7-0 run to open an eight-point advantage at 58-50, a lead it would not relinquish.

Junior Cody Kelley sank a 3-point basket to put an end to a scoreless drought that stretched over four minutes with 3:16 remaining in the game. However, that was the closest the Coyotes would get as the Golden Eagles held off the attempted comeback.

Triston Simpson totaled a game-high 15 points with Stanley Umude and Kelley adding 11 points each. Kelley had a team-high eight rebounds as the Coyotes held the rebounding edge at 35-33.

Cortez Edwards led Southern Mississippi with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.

South Dakota opens Summit League action Friday, Dec. 28 at North Dakota State. Opening tip from Fargo is slated for 8 p.m.