JMU graduate guard Takal Molson rises for a shot in the Dukes' 83-71 win over Georgia Southern on Jan. 14. One week later, the Dukes dropped their Jan. 21 matchup on the road against Southern Miss, 83-70, to fall to 4-4 in Sun Belt Conference play, despite three Dukes scoring in double figures, including Molson's 13 points, five assists and five rebounds. 

JMU men’s basketball lost its Saturday matchup against Southern Mississippi, 83-70. 

Southern Miss senior forward DeAndre Pinckney dropped a season-high 28 points. On the other side, JMU redshirt senior guard Vado Morse struggled to find the mark. After back-to-back 25-point games, Morse finished with two points, shooting 0-for-6 from the field and 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

The Dukes were led by three double-digit scorers: 18 points from redshirt sophomore guard Terrence Edwards, 14 from redshirt junior guard Noah Freidel and 13 from graduate guard Takal Molson. But it wasn’t enough to overcome Pinckney and junior guard Austin Crawley’s 14 points. 

The Dukes kept the game close throughout the first half  within 10 points for the majority of the first 20 minutes. The Golden Eagles pushed their lead to 10 with 3:22 to play in the half. Then, they extended the lead to 15 points with just over two minutes left in the half. However, a layup from Edwards and back-to-back 3s from Freidel and Edwards brought the Dukes within seven at the half, 43-36.

But the Golden Eagles dominated the Dukes in almost every facet. They shot a higher percentage from the field and from 3-point range; they had more rebounds, more assists, more blocks and more steals. While the Dukes were able to keep it close at times, cutting it to 56-47 with 13:41 to go, Southern Miss held the lead for the entire game.

The Dukes (13-8, 4-4 Sun Belt) return home Jan. 26 for a matchup with Coastal Carolina at 7 p.m. The Golden Eagles (17-4, 6-2 Sun Belt) continue their four-game homestand against Arkansas State at the same day and time.

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