Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - Neil Watson netted 23 points off the bench to
help second-seeded Southern Miss cruise past UAB, 81-66, in the quarterfinals
of the Conference USA Tournament on Thursday at Bank of Oklahoma Center.
Dwayne Davis donated 20 points and Jerrold Brooks added 13 points and eight
rebounds for the Golden Eagles (24-8), who have won two straight and will take
on UTEP in a semifinal matchup on Friday after the Miners defeated Houston
later on Thursday
Rod Rucker scored 20 points and grabbed seven boards for the Blazers (16-17),
who were coming off a 53-52 victory over SMU in their C-USA tourney opener.
UAB held a 17-16 edge just over 11 1/2 minutes in after Preston Purifoy poured
in four straight points, but the Golden Eagles responded with the next 17
points to build a 33-17 cushion with 5:40 left in the half.
Southern Miss took a 40-26 advantage into the break before a 9-3 UAB spurt
early in the second brought the Blazers within 48-41 with 13:40 remaining.
UAB would get no closer, however, as the Golden Eagles quickly answered with a
14-4 surge to push the margin above double-digits, where it remained for the
rest of the contest.