Eagles Lose, 66-56, At UAB
Birmingham, Ala. - Southern Miss wrapped up its 2001-02 road season with a 66-56 loss at UAB Tuesday night, in a Conference USA loss that, combined with TCU's win, ended the Golden Eagles' chance at a spot in the C-USA Tournament in Cincinnati.
The now-14-team league keeps the same 12-team field as in past years, meaning that two teams won't play in the event.
Head Coach James Green's team fell behind 38-20 at the half, managed to cut the deficit to nine as early as the 9:57 mark of the second half, and cut it to that margin several times in the closing minutes, but managed to get no closer as the Blazers hit free throws down the stretch that blunted a possible Eagle rally.
UAB, a 50-36 loser to the Eagles in an earlier-season game in Hattiesburg, improved to 13-15 overall, 6-9 in league play, while Southern Miss dropped to 9-17 overall and 3-12 in C-USA play.
UAB put only two players in double figures, led by Will Campbell's game-high 18, but also got 12 points from Eric Bush, who also picked up six rebounds and a like number of steals. Brad Richardson led the Golden Eagles with 11 points and was the only Southern Miss player in double figures. Carey Rigsby added eight, and Elvin Mims was out of double digits for only the third time this season and matched his season low in points.
The Golden Eagles shot just .365 (19-52) while the winners hit 22-of-54 (.407), and connected on 19-of-26 (.731) free throws to help preserve the victory.
Southern Miss ends the regular season March 2, at home against South Florida in a 1 p.m., game that will be televised by ESPN Plus.