Entering the 2010-11 campaign, Southern Miss returned all five starters
from a team that, in 2009-10, made its first
postseason appearance since the 2001-02
season. With their nucleus returning, along
with a group of newcomers poised to make
their mark, Southern Miss basketball entered
the season on a mission.
The Golden Eagles opened the 2010-11
campaign at former Conference USA rival
USF. It was the first time that the teams faced
each other since the Bulls left C-USA for the
Big East following the 2004-05 season. It was
also the second straight year that they opened
the season with a true road game. The
Golden Eagles scored the final 15 points of
the game to win, 60-53. Gary Flowers led the
Black and Gold with a game-high 15 points
and R.L. Horton added 14.
USM then returned to Reed Green
Coliseum to open its home schedule with a
four-game homestand, beginning with traditional rival South Alabama. Playing without
Gary Flowers, the Golden Eagles used a
pair of 19-0 runs to defeat USA, 93-58. The
35-point margin was the largest for either
team in the history of the series. R.L. Horton
led all scorers with 25 points, while Josimar
Ayarza recorded his second career double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10
boards. Torye Pelham also scored a career-high 15 points.
Southern Miss then hosted McNeese
State. The Golden Eagles led by as many
as 19 points in the first half on their way to
a 75-60 victory, their second straight over
the Cowboys. Flowers scored 24 points,
while D.J. Newbill recorded his first career
double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
The Eagles then hosted Spring Hill. USM
defeated the Badgers, 94-41. The 53-point
victory was the fifth largest in school history. Ayarza led USM with 18 points, while
Newbill added a double-double with 15
points and 11 rebounds.
Southern Miss welcomed in-state foe
Alcorn State to Hattiesburg for the first time
since 2004, and defeated the Braves for the
tenth straight time, 100-71, scoring its most
points all year. Flowers led all players with
31 points and nine rebounds. Horton scored
17 points and Ayarza added 15. The victory was also head coach Larry Eustachy’s
100th at Southern Miss, becoming the fourth
coach to achieve the milestone.
the road for six games, beginning with a
nationally-televised game at Ole Miss. The
Golden Eagles trailed by as many as 13
points in the first half, and nine in the second, before going on an 11-3 run to take a
71-65 lead with 7: 30 to play. However, the
Rebels went on a 15-5 run on their way to
an 86-81 victory. It was the second straight
year that Ole Miss handed USM its first loss
of the season. Horton had 20 points and
Flowers added 19. Newbill recorded his
third double-double in four games, scoring
10 points and pulling down 10 boards.
USM then headed to California for two
games in two days, beginning with Cal
State-Monterey Bay. The Golden Eagles
came out strong and never let up, taking
an 86-61 victory. Flowers scored 21 points
and Ayarza added 18. However, during the
game, Torye Pelham broke his hand and
was lost for the rest of the season.
The following day, Southern Miss took
on Pac- 10 opponent California. The Golden
Eagles were down six points with five minutes to play. However, Flowers scored the
team’s final 12 points, including a jumper
with three seconds left to defeat the Bears,
80-78 and give USM just its second victory
over a Pac- 10 team. Flowers led all players with 28 points. Ayarza scored 17, and
LaShay Page added 12.
After 10 days off due to exams, the
Golden Eagles traveled to Cancun, Mexico
for the inaugural Cancun Governor’s Cup.
USM opened the tournament against East
Tennessee State. Southern Miss grabbed a
33-19 lead at the half. USM scored the nine
of the first 13 points of the second half to
take its biggest lead of the game at 41-23.
However, ETSU went on a 20-5 run to pull
within 48-43. Southern Miss then held on
for the win 64-60 victory. Flowers picked up
his first double-double of the season, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Newbill dropped in 11 points and Page
The Black and Gold faced off with former Conference USA rival Saint Louis in
the Semifinals. The Billikens grabbed the
lead four minutes into the game and led
by as many as ten points in the first half
before heading into halftime with a 35-33
advantage. SLU extended its lead to nine
six minutes into the second half. Southern
Miss grabbed the lead before Saint Louis
took it back. However with 4: 41 to play
and the Billikens ahead by one, Southern
Miss closed the game on a 13-5 run to earn
a hard-fought 74-67 win. Junior Angelo
Johnson and senior Sai’Quon Stone each
scored season-highs of 21 and 15 points,
respectively, to lead the team.
Southern Miss then took on Colorado
State in the Championship Game of the
tournament. The Golden Eagles came out
hot, hitting nine of its first 12 shots to take
a 22-11 lead nine points into the game.
However, USM quickly went cold, scoring just seven points the rest of the half to
hold a 29-24 lead at the break. Southern
Miss led by six points in the second half,
but Colorado State closed the game on
an 18-7 run to hand USM a 63-58 defeat.
Flowers scored 22 points and grabbed
nine rebounds, and was named to the All-Tournament Team. Page added 14 points.
USM closed December by hosting the
Hardwood Club Holiday Tournament. In
the opening game, it faced in-state foe
Mississippi Valley State. Southern Miss held
the Delta Devils to just 20.3-percent shooting, the second lowest ever for an opponent, on its way to a 91-46 victory. Flowers
scored 19 points, Page had 17, and Newbill
recorded a double-double with 11 points
and a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Golden Eagles then took on
Savannah State in the Championship Game.
Southern Miss led by as many as 14 points
in the second half on its way to a 64-54
victory. The win gave Southern Miss 11
wins before January for the first time ever.
Flowers was named the tournament’s Most