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ODU squanders second-half lead, falls to Southern Miss in Sun Belt Conference road game

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Austin Crowley finished with 30 points and made 5 of 9 3-pointers to lead Southern Miss to a 78-73 victory over Old Dominion before 3,927 Wednesday night.

Crowley finished with 11 rebounds and helped the Golden Eagles (13-11, 7-5 Sun Belt) win their fifth consecutive game at home. Southern Miss rallied from a six-point deficit early in the second half to hand ODU its ninth loss in the past 11 games.

The Monarchs fell to 6-18 overall and 2-10 in the conference.

Chaunce Jenkins led ODU with 22 points and Tyrone Williams finished with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Donovan Ivory contributed 16 points and made 9 of 11 free throws for the Golden Eagles, while Viktor Iwuakor added 12 points and 11 rebounds and Mo Arnold had 11 points. An Ivory 3-pointer with 18 minutes left gave USM the lead to stay, 38-37.

The game featured two teams playing without their head coach.

ODU has been without Jeff Jones since he suffered a heart attack during a team trip to Hawaii in December. Jones will miss the rest of the season, and the Monarchs have been led by assistant Kieran Donohue.

Southern Mississippi coach Jay Ladner was hospitalized Tuesday after suffering what the school described as a “heart-related medical emergency.”

School officials said Ladner is expected to make a full recovery, but will step away from the team for now. Associate head coach Juan Cardona, who was whistled for a second-half technical foul, is the acting head coach while Ladner recuperates.