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North Florida holds off Southern Miss 53-46

Dec 24, 2009 - 4:11 AM GULFPORT, Miss.(AP) -- Brad Haugabrook scored 11 points and North Florida held off Southern Mississippi in the closing minutes to take a 53-46 victory on Wednesday night.

The Ospreys (4-7) won their third straight game, all coming in the South Mississippi Christmas Classic. They entered the tournament on a six-game losing streak, but defeated Canisius 65-61 on Monday and New Orleans 64-49 on Tuesday.

Southern Miss (8-3) shot 20.8 percent from the field (5-for-24) in the first half and North Florida led 24-13 at halftime.

Haugabrook hit a free throw to give North Florida a 48-41 lead with 1:25 left, but Gary Flowers hit a jumper and R.L. Horton nailed a 3-pointer to cut the advantage to 48-46 with 34 seconds left.

The Ospreys then scored the final five points.

Flowers led Southern Miss with 20 points and 12 rebounds, his second consecutive game with a double-double.