March 9, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Dwayne Davis scored 34 points to lead Southern Miss to a 70-62 Senior Night victory over UCF, Saturday night in the regular season finale at Reed Green Coliseum.
The victory improved Southern Miss to 23-8, 12-4 in Conference USA. The 12 wins are the most for Southern Miss since joining Conference USA.
It is the second straight game that Davis has scored 30 points, the first Golden Eagle to do that since Charles Gaines in 2002. He was 9-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-7 from three, and was a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line.
"I thought it was a heck of a college game tonight," said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. "Both teams played very hard and very smart. We only had 10 turnovers which is really good. Both teams really defended well. It was just a good game, and being on our home floor certainly helped us.
The Golden Eagles led, 33-23, heading into the second half. Mills scored off a putback to give Southern Miss a 12-point lead. After Kasey Wilson hit a three-pointer, McGill hit a pair of free throws and Davis connected on a jumper to put Southern Miss up by 13.
Isaiah Sykes hit two free throws to cut the lead to 11, but Davis drained a three-pointer to give the Black and Gold its largest lead of the game, 42-28, just 3:14 into the half.
However, Southern Miss went the next 6:12 without a field goal, as UCF went on a 10-2 to run to cut the lead to six. Davis broke the string with a jumper in the lane to push the lead back to eight.
Keith Clanton connected on a three-point play to make it 46-41. After the teams traded baskets, Daveon Boardingham made one-of-two free throws. Davis then connected on four straight free throws following a technical foul on Keith Clanton to give the Golden Eagles a 53-43 lead with 9:01 to play.
But, UCF went on a 10-1 run to cut the deficit to 54-53 with 6:28 to play. Jerrold Brooks hit a jumper and McGill hit three-of four free throws to push the lead back to six points. UCF then hit three-of-four free throws to make it a 59-56 game with 2:40 to play.
But, following a Davis three-pointer, Southern Miss went 8-of-8 from the line down the stretch to seal the victory.
The Golden Eagles shot 43.5-percent from the field (20-of-46), including just 25.0-percent (4-of-16) from three. But they were 26-of-33 (78.8%) from the charity stripe. UCF was just 21-of-62 (33.9%) from the floor and 7-of-29 (24.1%) from three. Southern Miss was outrebounded for the first time in 13 games, 41-to-33.
Sykes led UCF with 22 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Wilson added 11 points.
Southern Miss will travel to Tulsa, Okla., next week for the Conference USA Tournament. The Golden Eagles will open up play as the No. 2 seed on Thursday, March 14 against the winner of UAB/SMU at noon.
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