HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Neil Watson hit a 3-point goal with 2 seconds left Friday night to lift Southern Mississippi to a 60-57 victory over Marshall.
It was the second time the senior sank the Thundering Herd with a buzzer-beater at Red Green Coliseum also doing so as a freshman. It was the first lead the Golden Eagles enjoyed, as Marshall jumped to a 16-3 lead and a 35-24 halftime advantage.
Aaron Brown accounted for the final points, hitting two free throws with 1.5 seconds left after MU's Shawn Smith overthrew Ryan Taylor with the inbounds pass.
Southern Miss (20-3, 7-1) pulled back into a tie for first in the Conference USA standings, while Marshall (8-16, 2-7) continued to suffer on the road. The Herd is 0-6 in Hattiesburg.
Taylor scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Kareem Canty added 11 points and Chris Thomas had 10. Brown led Southern Miss with 13 points, followed by 12 from Michael Craig and 10 each by Watson and Jerrold Brooks.
Marshall hit its first four 3-point attempts to knock the Eagles back on their heels. After halftime, the Herd took a 13-point lead before the Eagles started chipping away.
Taylor converted a three-point play with just over 4:00 left to give Marshall a 53-49 lead, but points were tough to find down the stretch. The Herd survived two straight shot-clock violations, but Thomas scored to make it 55-52 with 1:12 left.
Brooks tied the game with a 3-pointer with 1:02 left, but Smith scored underneath to make it 57-55 with 37 seconds left. Craig missed the front end of a one-and-one to open the door for the Herd to put it away, but Cheik Sane also missed the front end of his one-and-one with 16 seconds left.
That set up Watson's game-winning shot.
The Herd travels to Tulane for a 2 p.m. game Sunday.
BRIEFLY: Yous Mbao (knee) played for the first time since the Jan. 2 game at Akron, but TyQuane Goard sat out with a bruised shoulder. ... The game was designated Ray Guy Night, honoring the Southern Miss punting legend who recently was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Southern Miss 60, Marshall 57
Marshall (8-16, 2-7)
Player FG-A FT-A Reb Ast Pts
Ryan Taylor 6-12 4-7 9 2 17
Cheikh Sane 2-4 0-1 5 1 4
Shawn Smith 3-5 0-0 2 3 8
Chris Thomas 4-10 1-2 6 4 10
Kareem Canty 4-12 0-0 3 2 11