TEMPE -- Another day, another three-pointer by another team to sink the Sun Devils at the end of the game.
Forward Darnell Dodson drained a three at the buzzer after Arizona State had tied the game with five seconds left, giving Southern Mississippi a 64-61 win over ASU Monday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
The key stat of the game was an 18-5 deficit on the offensive boards, USM dominating with hustle after missed shots.
"The single biggest factor was their offensive rebounding," coach Herb Sendek said. "We had a hard time with their athleticism and size."
ASU (4-7) let a nine-point halftime lead dissipate in the second half as Southern Miss outscored the Sun Devils 43-31in the half.
A TV audience saw Southern Miss (9-2) heat up late in the second half after shooting only 23.3 percent in the first half, with a barrage of three-pointers that gave the Golden Eagles a 54-43 lead with 4:49 to play.
The Sun Devils could have used this win, their non-conference season a disappointment. They cut the lead to two, 60-58, with 57.6 seconds left, missed free throws by Southern Miss keeping ASU in the game near the end.
ASU had a chance to tie down 61-58, but Chanse Creekmur missed a baseline three with 17 seconds left. The Devils had one more chance to tie down two with five seconds left, and King hit two free throws to pull it even. Then USM got the ball to Dodson, who scored all 17 of his points in 15 minutes of action, for the winner.
ASU lost to Northern Arizona by one on a three with one second left.
"The NAU loss was a tough loss," guard Trent Lockett said. "If we don't do it, who else is going to go in and keep fighting?"
Sendek labeled his team as "crestfallen" after the loss and that the players were crying in the locker room after the NAU loss.
ASU shot the ball fairly well until late in the game. The Golden Eagles took their first lead, 40-38 on a three-point play by guard Neil Watson with 8:09 to play.
Ruslan Pateev's interior defense was a factor, until he was ejected along with Southern Miss swingman Torye Pelham midway through the second half for an altercation. Pateev had four blocked shots, but Pelham took his 10 rebounds and six points with him to the locker room.
The altercation seemed to energize the Golden Eagles and not ASU, which needed a spark.
As many shots as it clanked in the first half, folks at Wells Fargo Arena might have thought that Southern Miss wasn't short for Southern Mississippi.
The Golden Eagles -- led by that one-time party animal Larry Eustachy as head coach -- made 7 of 30 shots. That's pretty bad, even in baseball.
Southern Miss was in such a funk that one point in the first half, Eustachy called a timeout mid-possession and charged out on the court to scream at forward Jonathan Mills. Then he pushed Mills back to the bench while the rest of the team huddled.
An 8-1 run to close out the half gave ASU a 30-21 lead at the intermission.