Southern Miss defense stifles Belhaven 92-45 in season opener

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP)—Craig Craft scored 19 points and Jeremy Wise added 18 as Southern Miss opened the season with a 92-45 win over Belhaven on Monday night.

Wise, who was Conference USA’s freshman of the year last season, scored 16 points in the first half as the Golden Eagles took command early and were never threatened.

Southern Miss opened the game with a 13-2 run and led 51-19 at halftime. The Golden Eagles dominated defensively, scoring 25 points off 17 turnovers and 20 points on second chances.

Southern Miss held Belhaven (4-1) to 16 percent shooting and nine field goals in the first 32 minutes. The Blazers finished the game shooting 23 percent from the field.

Gjio Bain caused most of Belhaven’s offensive troubles. Southern Miss’ 7-foot center, starting after a season-ending knee injury to original starter Gustavo Lino, finished two blocks shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocks.

Courtney Beasley finished with 12 points for the Golden Eagles and Sai’Quon Stone added 10. Freshman guard R.L. Horton helped Southern Miss outrebound Belhaven 60-37 with 10 rebounds and Wise added six assists.

The Blazers were led by Micahel McNutt’s 10 points.

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