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Harper-Baker powers Southern Miss past FIU 89-73

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.