Southern Miss Gets High On The Hogs Hardwood

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ David Wall staked Southern Mississippi to a big first-half lead with four 3-pointers and the Golden Eagles beat cold-shooting No. 15 Arkansas 63-54 in the final of the John Thompson Classic on Saturday night. The Razorbacks (1-1) made only 17-of-49 and Joe Johnson, their best player, was a horrendous 2-of-10 _ both tip-ins. Southern Miss (2-0) led by 15 late in the first half and Arkansas never got closer than eight until Jannero Pargo's 3 cut the lead to 58-53 with 1:41 to play. But Brad Richardson made a free throw and Johnson threw a pass into the student section. Wall made one of two free throws for 60-53 with 38 seconds left and added two more with 25 seconds to play. He finished with 19 points. The Razorbacks made so few baskets they were rarely able to get into their press. The Golden Eagles made each possession more valuable because they often used up 15-20 seconds far from the basket before getting in position for a shot. Johnson missed seven shots and two free throws before he put back a miss from point-blank range and said something to himself. Teddy Gipson led Arkansas with 15. Wall was 5-of-8 on 3-point attempts and his teammates were 6-of-15. Richardson made a big one coming out of a timeout in the final five minutes and Elvin Mims followed seconds later with one of his own that made it 56-44. Southern Miss led by nine at the half and made three of its four 3-point attempts in the first four minutes of the second half. Wall hit from the corner. Richardson's shot was uncontested and Mel Cauthen converted after some snappy perimeter passing. Wall made a couple of 3s as the Golden Eagles jumped in front 10-2 in the first four minutes. He was good on a 3 from the corner and then made one from out front for a 30-15 lead with less than four minutes left in the half. Brandon Davis' tip-in was Arkansas' first field goal in almost six minutes and reduced the lead to 30-17. Alonzo Lane worked hard inside for a basket and Teddy Gipson followed with a 3 that made it 32-23. T.J. Cleveland made a steal, was fouled and made two free throws to cut the lead to seven. But Arkansas went to sleep on the inbounds and Mario Myles took a long pass for a dunk. At the half, Southern Miss was an unspectacular 11-of-28, but that was far superior to Arkansas' 8-of-29. The Golden Eagles' production included 6-of-14 from long range. The Razorbacks made 1-of-9 3-point attempts in the first half.