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Southern Miss beats Louisiana-Lafayette 71-53

Dec 16, 2009 - 3:06 AM HATTIESBURG, Miss.(AP) -- Josimar Ayarza and Gary Flowers combined for 32 points and Southern Mississippi defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 71-53 on Tuesday night.

Ayarza scored 18 points and Flowers added 14 for the Golden Eagles (7-1), who are off to their best start since 2006 when they began 7-0.

Southern Miss held the Ragin' Cajuns to 16.7 percent from the field in the first half (5 of 30) and led 29-17 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles outrebounded Louisiana-Lafayette 47-32 and didn't trail in the contest.

The Ragin' Cajuns (3-5) were led by Chris Gradnigo with 16 points and Tyren Johnson with 14. Louisiana-Lafayette was just 4 of 23 from 3-point range and trailed by as many as 22 points in the second half.