Louisiana Tech advances to play in the C-USA Championship final in its first season as a member of Conference USA. The Bulldogs will face Tulsa in the title game at 9:30 a.m. MDT on CBS. Louisiana Tech won the regular season meeting between the teams, 66-61 on Feb. 6 in Ruston, La.
Neither Louisiana Tech nor Tulsa have won a C-USA Championship Final, so the winner will become the eighth school to win the C-USA Championship in the league's 19-year history.
This will be the fifth time that the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have met each other in the C-USA Championship Final and the second year in a row. The No. 1 seed has won all of the previous meetings.
The winner of Saturday's championship game will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Tulsa's last NCAA Championship appearance came in 2003, while Louisiana Tech's last trip was in 1991.
Southern Miss Notes
The loss drops Southern Miss to 27-6 on the season. Five of the six losses are to teams that won 20 or more games.
The Golden Eagles have posted three consecutive seasons with 25 or more wins. Going into today's action, Southern Miss was one of only seven schools to accomplish that feat.
Going into Friday's action only seven schools (Wichita State, Arizona, Florida, Stephen F. Austin, Gonzaga, San Diego State and Villanova) had won more games this season than Southern Miss.
Senior forward Michael Craig came off the bench to narrowly miss his sixth fifth double-double of the season, scoring 19 points and pulling down nine rebounds in 25 minutes.
Louisiana Tech Notes
Louisiana Tech is in a conference tournament final for the second time in three years (lost in the title game of the 2012 WAC Championship). The Bulldogs will be seeking their first conference tournament title since winning the 1991 America South Conference crown.
LA Tech improves to 27-6 on the season, matching last season's win total, and extends its winning streak to six games.
The Bulldogs defense forced 21 turnovers, improving its record to 22-0 when forcing at least 15 in a game. It also marked the sixth time this season they have forced at least 20.
Louisiana Tech scored at least 50 points in the second half for the second straight game of the tournament. The Bulldogs put up 56 against the Golden Eagles which marked the 11th time this season with scoring 50+ in a half.
Kenneth "Speedy" Smith added to his C-USA single-season record for assists with 10 tonight. He now has 255 helpers on the season. This was his eight game this season with 10 or more assists. He has also recorded at least eight helpers in 15 of the last 16 games.
The Bulldogs had five players in double-figures, led by Alex Hamilton who had a game-high 19 points. Hamilton connected on four three-pointers, a new career-high for the sophomore.
Junior forward Michale Kyser pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, the fifth time this season that he has recorded 10 or more boards.
The Bulldogs topped the 80-point mark for the 21st time this season.
Tonight was the Bulldogs 14th win away from home this season (9-4 on road, 5-1 neutral).
The Bulldogs connected on 12 three-pointers tonight, marking the seventh time this season that LA Tech has hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game.