March 11, 2010
TULSA, Okla. -- Sixth-seeded Southern Miss controlled the game from the outset, as it upset third-seed UAB, 58-44, in the Quarterfinals of the GMC Sierra Conference USA Tournament.
The victory snapped a five game losing streak against the Blazers. With the win, the Golden Eagles (20-12) earned their 20th win of the season. Southern Miss advances to the Semifinals for the second time in three years and fourth time overall. Southern Miss will face seventh-seed Houston tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., with the game being shown on CBS College Sports.
"We've come a long way," said Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy. "I think we grew up today in this game. Gary said it during the timeout. Basically, we've seen this movie before. This team comes back on you. They've come a long way. I'm proud of them. We're certainly not done. We're excited. Twenty wins is a great year but it's not nearly over."
Junior Gary Flowers recorded his second straight double-double and tenth of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Sophomore Angelo Johnson scored a game-high 17 points and junior R.L. Horton dropped in 12. Junior Torye Pelham added nine points and eight rebounds.
Southern Miss got out of the gate quick, hitting five of its first six shots to take an early 16-2 lead 4:37 into the game. UAB (23-8) cut the deficit to 18-10 with 10:31 to play in the half, but free throws from Flowers and Sai'Quon Stone gave the Golden Eagles a 22-10 lead with 6:39 to go.
A Kenneth Cooper free throw cut the lead to 11, but Johnson's third three-pointer of the half, followed by two Maurice Bolden free throws gave Southern Miss a 27-12 lead with 3:42 to play in the half.
The teams traded baskets, with Jamarr Sanders hitting a trey to pull UAB within 12. But Bolden answered with a three-pointer of his own, and the Black and Gold went into the half with a 32-17 lead.
Southern Miss extended its lead to 17 early in the second half on a Pelham tip-in, but UAB went on a 9-0 run over the next 3:44 to pull to within 34-26. However, Horton drilled two straight three-pointers to give the Eagles a 40-26 lead.
The Blazers would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way, as Southern Miss connected on 12-of-14 free throws in the final 5:17.
Sanders was the only Blazer to reach double-figures, scoring 10 points. Elijah Millsap added seven points and eight rebounds.
Southern Miss connected on only 33.3-percent (13-of-39) from the field, including 7-of-16 from behind the arc, while UAB hit 39.1-percent (18-of-46). However, the Golden Eagles were 25-of-30 from the free throw line, while UAB was just 4-of-15. Southern Miss also held the rebounding advantage, 34-27.
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