Jan. 4, 2012
The home teams were all victorious in Wednesday's Conference USA season openers. Southern Miss, Marshall, UCF and Houston tipped off the season at 1-0. The Golden Eagles won their 10th in a row by edging East Carolina, 78-76. Marshall used a dominant second half to defeat UTEP, 76-60. UCF improved to 9-0 at home with a 60-53 win over Tulane. Houston and Tulsa went to overtime, before the Cougars earned their fifth-straight win with a 70-69 decision. Memphis held Tennessee to a season-low 51 points and defeated the Volunteers for a second time this season, 69-51. Rice junior Arsalan Kazemi registered his eighth-straight double-double, and 12th of the season, but the Owls dropped a 78-74 decision to host TCU in their final non-conference game of the regular season.
Complete C-USA Standings and Results
Conference USA Statistics
UCF 60, Tulane 53
(RV) Southern Miss 78, East Carolina 76
Houston 70, Tulsa 69 (OT)
Marshall 76, UTEP 60
Memphis 69, Tennessee 51
TCU 78, Rice 74
C-USA MEN'S BASKETBALL SHOOTING STARS
- Southern Miss won its 10th game in a row, holding off an East Carolina rally, for a 78-76 victory. Junior G LaShay Page (Dillon, S.C.) led the Golden Eagles with 20 points, hitting six three-pointers. Senior Darnell Dodson (Greenbelt, Md.) came off the bench for 17 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. Senior F Darrius Morrow (Atlanta, Ga.) scored a game-high 23 points for the Pirates. ECU also had double-digit scoring performances from juniors Miguel Paul and Maurice Kemp (Miami, Fla.) with 19 and 14 points, respectively. Paul was also credited with 10 assists for his first career double-double, but the Pirates had their five- game winning streak snapped.
- UCF junior G Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) scored a game-high 19 points as the Knights improved to 9-0 at UCF Arena with a 60-53 win over Tulane. UCF led for the majority of the contest and built its advantage to as many as 17 points in the second half. The hosts finished with a 43-32 edge on the glass. The contest was the first of three league games for the Knights without head coach Donnie Jones, who was serving a school-mandated suspension. UCF was led by associate head coach Shawn Finney. The Knights led 29-21 at the break after Jordan scored 11 first-half points. He shot 7-of-15 overall for the game and made all three of his free-throw attempts in 38 minutes. Senior G A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) added 11 points, four assists and five steals in the win. Junior G Jordan Callahan (Marietta, Ga.) led the Green Wave with 18 points. Classmate Kendall Timmons (Fort Worth, Texas), who hit the career 1,000-point milestone in TU's last game, added 12 points and nine rebounds in the conference opener.
- Marshall put forth a complete team effort as it opened Conference USA play with a 76-60 win over UTEP at the Cam Henderson Center. Seven players scored at least seven points for the Thundering Herd, which won its first game over the Miners (7-8, 0-1 C-USA) since joining the conference six seasons ago. Junior F Dennis Tinnon (Green Bay, Wis.) led the way with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. He also had a career-high four assists and three steals. Senior G Shaquille Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla.) scored a season-high 12 points and added five rebounds and a career-high five steals. Junior F Nigel Spikes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) made 5-of-9 shots from the field and recorded 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Marshall, which ranks fifth in the nation in rebound margin, outrebounded UTEP 42-23. Freshman F/G Julian Washburn (Duncanville, Texas) led the Miners with 15 points.
- Houston junior G Jonathon Simmons (Houston, Texas) hit a free throw with seven tenths of a second left in overtime gave the Cougars a 70-69 overtime win against Tulsa. Simmons led UH with 19 points. Senior Steven Idlet (Prairie Grove, Ark.) scored 22 points to lead four players in double figures for Tulsa. Freshman Eric McClellan (Austin, Texas) scored 14 points, including both baskets in overtime. Sophomore G Jordan Clarkson (San Antonio, Texas) and senior D.J. Magley (Bradenton, Fla.) each put up 12 points, while Magley led TU with eight rebounds and Idlet dished four assists. Idlet scored a jumper with 47 seconds left in regulation to give the Hurricane a 65-64 lead. Simmons was fouled and made one of his two free throws ¬- the second attempt was his only miss of regulation - to send the game to the extra period.
- Memphis defeated Tennessee for the second time this season, by a final score of 69-51. Sophomore Antonio Barton (Baltimore, Md.) scored a team-high 19 points on the strength of 4-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Classmate Tarik Black (Memphis, Tenn.) recorded a season-high 18 points and hauled in seven rebounds. Memphis beat Tennessee earlier this season in the Maui Invitational in double-overtime, 99-97. After being outrebounded, 49-34, during the first meeting, Memphis flipped the script on Tennessee, outrebounding the Vols, 36-26, the second time around. The 18-pt Memphis win is the second largest margin of victory in series. The game was the 150th game Memphis played at FedExForum and the Tigers have earned the nation's most home wins since the 2004-05 season with a record of 134-16. Memphis held Tennessee to seven free throw attempts, none in the first half, marking the lowest amount of FT by an opponent this season.
- Rice junior F Arsalan Kazemi (Esfahan, Iran) registered his eighth-straight double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but the Owls dropped a 78-74 decision to host TCU. Freshman G Dylan Ennis (Brampton, Ontario) scored a game-high 18 points and added six assists. Senior Connor Frizzelle (Red Oak, Texas) and Tamir Jackson (Paterson, N.J.) contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively.
C-USA UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, January 7
(RV) Southern Miss at Tulane - 3:00p
UCF at East Carolina - 4:00p
Marshall at Rice - 7:00p
SMU at Tulsa - 7:00p
Houston at UTEP - 8:00p
Memphis at UAB (CBSSN) - 8:00p
All times Central. Conference USA Games in Bold.
Most Recent C-USA Notebook
More information on Wednesday's games and your favorite team can be found on the school web sites:
East Carolina | Houston | Marshall | Memphis | Rice | SMU | Southern Miss | Tulane | Tulsa | UAB | UCF | UTEP