MIAMI -- Leonard Harper-Baker scored a career-high 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting and Southern Miss breezed to an 89-73 victory over Florida International on Thursday night.
Harper-Baker added five rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals for the Golden Eagles (13-9, 5-5 Conference USA). Tyree Griffin added 18 points and seven assists, Cortez Edwards scored 18 with five assists and freshman Gabe Watson pitched in with a career-best 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He added five assists for Southern Miss, which shot 59 percent from the floor.
Reserve Willy Nunez Jr. came off the bench to score 21 on 7-of-13 shooting from 3-point range to pace the Golden Panthers (13-9, 4-5). Osasumwen Osaghae had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Edwards scored the final five points in a 14-0 run that pushed the Southern Miss lead to 30-16. The Golden Eagles used an 8-0 to close out the half to lead 47-38.
FIU pulled with 49-47 on Elhadji Dieng's layup with 14:28, but Watson scored six in an 8-0 spurt and the Golden Eagles kept a double-digit lead from there. Southern Miss held FIU 14 points under its per-game average of 87, which was fifth best in the country.
Path gets tougher for No. 24 Baylor; Coastal Carolina looms
Defense was the difference Thursday for No. 24 Baylor in the quarterfinals of the Myrtle Beach Invitational, but the Bears will have to be even better when they battle host Coastal Carolina on Friday in the semifinals in Conway, S.C.
Diakite looks to keep No. 7 Virginia unbeaten vs. UMass
Mamadi Diakite initially declared for the 2019 NBA Draft after helping Virginia capture its first national championship last season.
After upsetting loss, No. 22 Texas aims to regroup vs. Cal
No. 22 Texas uncorked its worst half of basketball on Thursday, and the Longhorns will be ready to wipe away that bad performance when they square off against California on Friday in the third-place game of the 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded...