HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Boban Jacdonmi's career night of 29 points and 10 rebounds helped Southern Miss to a 90-71 win over Delta State on Tuesday night, giving head coach Jay Ladner a 1-0 start at his alma mater.
"Being able to get that first win under your belt is a special feeling, especially at home and coming back to my school," Ladner said. "By the same token, we have to take it one game at a time, and we have a lot of work to do. I think that if you saw the exhibition last Tuesday, we made some improvements, but we have a long way to go."
Jacdonmi, a senior from London, is in his second year with the program and had 30 points and 38 rebounds last season. Against the Statesmen, he scored his 29 points on 12-for-16 shooting to go with the 10 boards. Taking it a step further, he was 5-for-7 at the foul line after going 4-for-12 as a junior.
Jacdonmi also came within one point of Southern Miss' first 30-point game since Cortez Edwards accomplished the feat against Marshall in the 2018 C-USA Semifinals.
"He's a player that has not experienced a lot of personal success, but he plays his tail off every single day," Ladner said of Jacdonmi. "I was so glad to see him have such a big night. I thought he made a great move to start the game with a left-handed jump hook, and hopefully this will be a confidence-booster for him, especially with our lack of seniority on the team."
Jacdonmi's prowess in the paint also helped Southern Miss to a 58-18 advantage down low.
The Golden Eagles led 15-7 early, but Delta State remained within 32-25 at the eight-minute mark. It was a 10-0 run over the next 4:45 that gave the Black and Gold full control heading into the locker room at 49-29.
Delta State pulled within 60-47 with less than 14 minutes to play, but after LaDavius Draine notched his first three-pointer and drew a foul, the Golden Eagles collected back-to-back steals that ended with Tyler Stevenson dunks to force a Delta State timeout with a 69-47 margin.
Southern Miss will now prepare for its first road game of the year, traveling to South Alabama on Saturday. Tip-off against the Jaguars is at 7 p.m. CT.
-This was the first regular-season meeting between the schools since 1976.
-Sophomore Tyler Stevenson's career-high 18 points (9-for-15 shooting) bested his 15 from the 2018-19 season opener.
-Sophomore Jay Malone collected a game-high 10 assists in his debut, the most by a Golden Eagle since Tyree Griffin (10) versus UTSA in the home finale on March 9.
-Senior Leonard Harper-Baker (13 points, nine rebounds) was one board shy of his fifth double-double. He also had a career-high six assists.
-Freshman Artur Konontsuk was efficient with 13 points (4-for-5 FG, 4-for-4 FT) in 28 minutes with just one turnover.
-The Golden Eagles were 4-for-11 from long-range. Last year, the team was 5-3 when making five or fewer.