Watson sinks Pirates with
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Junior guard Neil Watson
had East Carolina in his sights Saturday night, nailing 7-of-7 field
goal attempts — all of the three-point variety — to lead Southern
Mississippi to an 88-69 rout of the Pirates in Hattiesburg.
Watson maintained his
shooting perfection at the free throw line, where he was 5-of-5 as the
Golden Eagles completed of sweep of the teams' series. USM
snatched an 86-82 overtime victory
over the Pirates in Greenville on Feb. 16.
Southern Miss led 36-31
after a nip-and-tuck first half that involved seven ties and seven lead
changes, but the Golden Eagles steadily pulled away after intermission
to blow the game open.
Senor guard Dwayne Davis
had 17 points, senior forward Jonathan Mills added 15 and junior forward
Davio Boardingham contributed 12 for USM.
Senior forward Maurice
Kemp paced ECU with 23 points on 7-of-10 from the field and 9-of-10 from
the charity stripe. The performance was good enough for Kemp to remain
C-USA's leading scorer at 17.963 points per game, a hair ahead of
Houston's Joseph Young at 17.962.
Junior guard Akeem
Richmond came off the bench to score 15 and senior point guard Miguel
Paul recorded 13 points and 8 assists for the Pirates.
Southern Miss ruled the
battle of the boards on both ends of the court, outrebounding ECU 42-23.
The Golden Eagles dominated the jostling for offensive caroms 14-5 and
won the combat for defensive rebounds 28-18.
East Carolina (16-11, 7-7
C-USA) remains in a fracas with Tulsa (15-13, 7-7) and UAB (15-14, 7-7)
for a spot in the top four in the C-USA standings and the corresponding
first round bye in the Mar. 13-16 league tournament in Tulsa. The teams
are tied for fifth place, but fourth-place Central Florida
is ineligible to compete in the event because of sanctions.
The Pirates hold the
tie-breaker over both the Golden Hurricane and the Blazers. ECU
defeated Tulsa on the road on
Feb. 20 in the only matchup between the schools. The Pirates swept the two-game
In the wake of its loss to
the Golden Eagles, East Carolina will try to nail down the bye when it
closes out the regular season this week with a pair of winnable home
games. Tulane (6-8, 18-11) visits for a 7 p.m. tip-off on Wednesday and
Marshall (5-9, 12-17) comes calling for a 5 p.m. contest on Saturday.
Southern Miss (22-7, 11-3)
has guaranteed itself a first-round pass with a firm grip on second
place behind Memphis. The 19th-ranked Tigers (14-0, 25-4) clinched the
regular season title and kept their league record unblemished with a
76-67 Saturday win over UCF.
Texas-El Paso (9-5, 16-12)
is closing in on locking up the third spot. The Miners
escaped Greenville with a 68-67 win
on a long three-pointer at the buzzer on Jan. 26.
CONFERENCE USA GAME SUMMARY
Southern Mississippi 88, East
Mar. 2, 2013
Facility: Reed Green Coliseum
Records: ECU 16-11, 7-7; USM 22-7, 11-3
SCORE BY PERIODS
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03/03/13 01:40 AM.
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