Keeping Score

Tyndall reaches in his own wallet for USM students

Southern Miss basketball coach Donnie Tyndall is asking for fans to support the program during the NIT, and he's using his own money to allow 1,000 students to attend the first-round game for free.

USM announced Monday that Tyndall is purchasing 1,000 tickets for students who attend Wednesday's 8:15 p.m. NIT contest against Charleston Southern at Reed Green Coliseum.

All students have to do is show their ID at the student gate, which will open at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Once those tickets are sold, students have to pay $5 for admission.

Charleston Southern, which was the No. 1 seed in the Big South Tournament, is 19-12.

"We need a great crowd," Tyndall said Sunday. "It's an opportunity for fans to come out and support our team. We had a fantastic year and overachieved in every shape and form. I hope people understand that there are only so many times that you get the opportunity to host a postseason game. It's a great opportunity to give these young men the much-deserved support of the community. We need a great turnout."

USM (25-9) is a No. 1 seed in the NIT after narrowly missing out on the NCAA Tournament.