Conference USA Tournament Recaps
(Friday, March 15th)
Final Score: Southern Miss 85, UTEP 67
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - Dwayne Davis donated a game-high 27 points, as second-seeded Southern Miss cruised to an 85-67 victory over UTEP in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament at the BOK Center.
Jerrold Brooks and Jonathan Mills followed with 13 points apiece, with Mills adding 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (25-8), who have won three straight to bolster their resume for the NCAA Tournament.
Southern Miss does control its own destiny however, as the Golden Eagles will take on top-seeded Memphis in the C-USA title game on Saturday with an automatic bid on the line.
C.J. Cooper came off the bench and scored 20 points to pace the Miners (18-14), who had won two straight.
Cooper's jumper just past the midpoint of the first half brought UTEP within 19-18, but Brooks buried a 3-pointer at the other end to spark 12-3 push that provided the Golden Eagles with a 31-21 cushion.
A Cooper triple with four minutes left brought the Miners within six, but Southern Miss scored the final 11 points of the frame to take a 48-31 advantage into the break.
Southern Miss cruised in the second half, as the Golden Eagles led by double digits throughout the stanza en route to the victory.
Final Score: (20) Memphis 85, Tulsa 74
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - Chris Crawford connected on 8-of-10 shots from 3-point range en route to a career-high 30 points, as No. 20 Memphis pulled away in the second half to notch an 85-74 victory over Tulsa in the semifinals of the Conference USA Tournament on Friday.
"Last time I had a game like this was my junior year in high school," Crawford remarked. "I couldn't put two halves together for nothing and I did it tonight and it was a great feeling."
Geron Johnson followed with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Shaq Goodwin netted 12 points for the top-seeded Tigers (29-4), who have won five straight and will take on second-seeded Southern Miss in the C-USA title game on Saturday.
Scottie Haralson paced the Golden Hurricane (17-15) with 25 points and 12 boards, while Pat Swilling scored 15 off the bench in the setback, which snapped Tulsa's two-game winning streak.
"We are not happy. There are no moral victories," Tulsa coach Danny Manning said. "We want to win games, and we want to compete at the highest level. That is our mindset and our mentality. We have to strive to get better."
Memphis led by just one, 34-33, at the break, but after James Woodard opened the second half with a jumper to put Tulsa in front, the Golden Hurricanes went the next four-plus minutes without a field goal and the Tigers ripped off nine straight points to build a 43-35 edge.
A Woodard jumper a bit later cut the margin to five before Crawford buried back-to-back triples to spark an 11-2 Memphis push that Johnson capped with five straight points, pushing the Tigers' lead to 58-44.
Haralson knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to start a 10-2 surge that brought Tulsa within 67-59 with 4:47 left, but Memphis scored the next 10 points to push the margin back above double digits for good.
The teams exchanged buckets over the opening seven minutes until Crawford knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers around a layup from Tulsa's D'Andre Wright layup, which sparked a 12-2 spurt that Goodwin capped with a layup to make it 23-12 in favor of Memphis.
The lead was seven, 32-25, following another Goodwin layup with 2:06 to play, but Tulsa closed the half on an 8-2 swing to pull within 34-33 at halftime.
Memphis coasted to a 94-64 victory over Tulsa in their only 2012-13 regular- season meeting and now owns a 23-13 all-time series lead ... D.J. Stephens finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks for Memphis ... The Tigers shot 49.2 percent (32-for-65) from the floor, including 11-for-21 from long range.
03/15 22:42:50 ET