Jan. 10 Men's Basketball Notebook
Jan. 10, 2014
Conference play opened Thursday with six games on the schedule, but that means there are 122 games remaining in the conference regular-season leading into the 2014 C-USA Championship. All 16 teams will be in action over the weekend, with East Carolina, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion and UAB making their debuts in league play Saturday.
Seven games are on that Saturday slate, with one contest set for Sunday, Jan. 12, when Tulsa hosts Southern Miss. The teams tip at 12 p.m. CT in front of a national television audience on FS1. The Golden Eagles are 14-2 and will ride a five-game win streak into the Donald W. Reynolds Center, where TU has won its last five in a row. Both are 1-0 in C-USA.
Saturday's action begins early as North Texas welcomes Tulane for a 1 p.m. CT matinee that will be televised on CSS. Both will be looking for their first league wins after falling to Southern Miss and Tulsa, respectively, in Thursday's openers. North Texas junior Jordan Williams gave the Mean Green a big spark with 17 points in the C-USA debut, while the Green Wave had a career-high 17-point performance from sophomore Louis Dabney Thursday.
UTSA hosts Charlotte at 3 p.m. CT on Time Warner Texas. The Roadrunners won their C-USA debut with a 90-81 victory against Marshall. Junior G Keon Lewis came off the bench to score 23 points and lead UTSA to a 90-81 win over Marshall in its inaugural Conference USA contest at the Convocation Center. The UTSA reserves accounted for 47 points in the win. Charlotte sophomore C Mike Thorne Jr. tallied 16 points and 14 rebounds in a key 73-68 road win at UTEP as the 49ers won their return to Conference USA. It was Charlotte's 100th C-USA win as the 49ers compiled a 99-57 record while a charter member between 1995-2005.
UAB heads to Middle Tennessee for the first C-USA match-up for both. Tip-off is 5 p.m. CT from the Murphy Center and it will be televised on CSS. The Blazers have arguably one of the best front courts in the nation and rank second nationally in rebound margin (+13.3). However, the Blue Raiders rank second to UAB in that category in the C-USA standings and third in C-USA for rebounding defense.
There will be a family feel to the 7 p.m. ET game at East Carolina when the Pirates play host to Old Dominion. ODU assistant coach Bryant Stith just happens to be the father of ECU freshman standout Brandan Stith, who ranks second in C-USA rebounding (9.5 rpg). The game will also feature the league's top two scorers in Akeem Richmond of ECU (20.0 ppg) and ODU's Aaron Bacote (18.6 ppg). Richmond also leads the nation in 3-pointers made this season and tied the C-USA and school record of 10 treys in the Pirates' last outing.
FIU is on the road at Louisiana Tech, where the Bulldogs have a five-game win streak following a victory in their conference opener to improve to 13-3 on the season. Game time is 7 p.m. CT. LA Tech had a scare when leading scorer Raheem Appleby had to leave Thursday's game with Florida Atlantic. Luckily, x-rays were negative and it was determined Appleby suffered a sprain to his left ankle. Junior F Michael Kyser stepped up to lead the Bulldogs in the game as he scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. FIU also won its inaugural C-USA contest, defeating host Rice 71-60. Senior Tymell Murphy scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Panthers. Murphy also grabbed 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season and 15th of his career.
Rice will play host again Saturday as Florida Atlantic visits Tudor Fieldhouse. Fans would be wise to check out the 7 p.m. CT match-up between the Owls and the Owls. Rice enters the game ranked among the Top 25 nationally for three-point field goals made. FAU has some offensive firepower as well in senior Pablo Bertone, one of the league's top scorers averaging 18.5 points per game this season.
UTEP hosts Marshall in the nightcap at 7:05 p.m. MT from the Don Haskins Center. The game will close a five-game homestand for the Miners, who played a tight game against Charlotte Thursday. UTEP senior C John Bohannon poured in 23 points with a 7-of-9 performance from the field, while junior Julian Washburn added 19 points. Marshall fell in its season opener, but is getting strong performances from the freshman duo of Kareem Canty and reigning C-USA Freshman of the Week Ryan Taylor.
C-USA UPCOMING SCHEDULE
Saturday, January 11
Sunday, January 12
Conference USA games in Bold.
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