HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) Victor Hart scored 16 points and Andre Curbelo had 15 points and nine assists, helping Southern Miss beat No. 19 James Madison 81-71 on Saturday.

Austin Crowley had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Golden Eagles (8-7, 2-1 Sun Belt), who earned their second straight win. Cobie Montgomery scored 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting.

“I thought our preparation was good, our approach to the game was good,” Southern Miss coach Jay Ladner said. “They battled and played the way you’re supposed to play and played with great effort, intensity and teamwork. They did the things they have to do to beat a great team like James Madison.”

Southern Miss shot 49.1% from the field, compared to 39.4% for James Madison. The Golden Eagles also enjoyed a big advantage at the line, making 25 of 33 free throws while the Dukes connected on 13 of 19 foul shots.

Hart went 5 for 11 from the field and 5 for 6 at the line. He also had seven rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.

T.J. Bickerstaff had 14 points and 16 rebounds for James Madison (14-1, 2-1), which trailed 44-35 at halftime. Terrence Edwards Jr. scored 15 points, and Noah Freidel had 13.

The Dukes entered as the Sun Belt’s top scoring offense and second in 3-point shooting. They were held 20 points under their scoring average and went 2 for 17 from beyond the arc.

“I thought we competed hard,” James Madison coach Mark Byington said. “Look, this thing’s not easy. We missed some shots, we missed some plays. Our defense wasn’t sharp in the first half. ... We came in and played a team that’s talented. They had a great environment in here. It was very chaotic. ... I don’t think that got to us, but I think it energized them.”

James Madison was the first nationally ranked team to visit Southern Miss since then-No. 22 Central Florida in January 2011. The Golden Eagles also won that game, 86-69.

James Madison closed to 64-60 on Michael Green III’s layup with 6:14 left, but Southern Miss responded with a 9-0 run. Hart opened the spurt with a 3 and closed it out with two foul shots that made it 73-60 with 4:26 remaining.

“If you didn’t get your $10 worth, or however little bit of money we charge to get in, from that game then I don’t know what else to tell you,” Ladner said. “That was a heck of a game against a heck of an opponent.”


James Madison: The Dukes had won seven consecutive true road games dating to last season. It was their first double-digit loss since falling 83-70 to the Golden Eagles in the same building a year ago.

Southern Miss: The Eagles had 17 fast-break points, compared to eight for James Madison.


James Madison: Hosts South Alabama on Thursday night.

Southern Miss: Visits ULM on Thursday night.


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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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