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Southern Miss holds off Southern Illinois for 72-69 victory

Southern Miss holds off Southern Illinois for 72-69 victory

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — LaDavius Draine and Tyler Stevenson made five free throws down the stretch as Southern Mississippi held off Southern Illinois 72-69 on Saturday afternoon to halt a four-game skid.

The teams swapped the lead throughout until the Golden Eagles made a final sprint to the finish. Southern Illinois was up 42-34 at the break. Draine nailed a 3 to start the second half and begin a 26-9 run for Southern Miss to go-ahead 60-51 with 8:01 remaining in the game.

Southern Illlinois’ Ronnie Suggs drained a trey that started the Salukis on an 8-0 run to pull out front 69-67 with 1:27 left. The Salukis failed to score after that and the five free throws by Draine and Stevenson secured the win. Southern Illinois’ Marcus Domask missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Leonard Harper-Baker had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (3-7). Stevenson added 15 points and Gabe Watson chipped in 14. Draine finished with 12, knocking down 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

Domask led Southern Illinois (4-6) with 17 points.