Jan. 21, 2011
Entering the third weekend of conference play, there is a four-way tie for first place. However, only two will hold onto that top spot as those four square off with each other on Saturday. UAB, who is a perfect 9-0 at Bartow Arena, will host Memphis for a 6 p.m. CT tip. The Tigers are coming off a 76-75 win at Southern Miss on a last second three-pointer from Charles Carmouche. That game will also be shown to a national audience on ESPN2. Houston welcomes UTEP to Hofheinz Pavilion for a 7 p.m. CT contest. The Cougars have won three straight games in conference play, while UTEP's only loss in their last seven outings was a 100-97 defeat in triple overtime at UAB.
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Two afternoon games are on the schedule as Southern Miss looks to rebound from its tight game with Memphis. The Golden Eagles won't have it easy as they will play SMU at Moody Coliseum, where the Mustangs have won eight of their last 10 games. Southern Miss senior and C-USA leading scorer Gary Flowers will be playing in front of his hometown crowd. That game tips at 2 p.m. CT, as does a contest at Fogelman in New Orleans with Tulsa visiting Tulane. It is the 10th meeting between the two schools, with Tulsa holding a 5-4 edge in the overall series but Tulane winning three of the last four.
Marshall hosts East Carolina for a 7 p.m. EST tip. Both teams are coming off big wins as the Thundering Herd knocked off in-state rival No. 21 West Virginia, 75-71, Wednesday night in a game played in Charleston, W.Va. as part of the Chesapeake Energy Capital Classic. The Pirates handed UCF its first home loss of the season Wednesday behind a 21-point performance from ECU senior Jontae Sherrod.
The Knights are back home to welcome Rice for a 7 p.m. EST start at UCF Arena. After starting the season on a 14-game win streak, UCF has lost its last three games in conference play. The Owls are looking for their first conference win of the season, but six of their losses this season have been by four points or less.
The UAB-Memphis game will serve as the second Bartow Classic, which will raise funds for the Coach Gene Bartow Fund for Cancer Research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. Bartow is considered by many as the "founding father" of UAB athletics. Serving as Athletics Director from 1977-2000, Bartow developed an intercollegiate sports program there from its infancy into one that featured 17 sports. He helmed the men's basketball program for 18 seasons (1978-96), compiling a record of 366-203 (.643) and leading UAB to 14 postseason appearances, 10 of which were NCAA Tournaments. The Hall of Fame coach also guided the Tigers from 1970-74 and led then-Memphis State to three consecutive postseason appearances, including a berth in the 1973 NCAA Final Four. Bartow has been battling cancer since April 2009, when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He is scheduled to be in attendance at Saturday's game in the arena that bears his name.
EAST CAROLINA (10-8, 2-2 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 at Marshall - 7 p.m. ET
Senior Jontae Sherrod scored 21 points, including an 11-of-16 performance from the free throw line, as the Pirates handed UCF its first home loss of the season with a 74-61 decision. Junior F Darrius Morrow added 14 points. ECU led by as many as 17 points and outrebounded the Knights, 41-33, as Sherrod also grabbed a team-best nine boards. The Pirates made nine free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.
Sherrod and classmate Jamar Abrams scored 16 points apiece, but East Carolina dropped a 66-59 decision to UAB in a make-up contest Monday night. The game had originally been scheduled for Jan. 12 and was postponed due to winter storms prohibiting travel.
Sherrod scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Pirates to a 76-67 victory over Tulane on Jan. 15. ECU shot 61.9 percent from the field (13-of-21) in the second half of their first home game since Dec. 7. Morrow scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
HOUSTON (11-6, 3-1 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 vs. UTEP - 7 p.m. CT
Four Cougars scored in double-figures as Houston defeated Tulsa, 64-57, Wednesday for their third-straight win. Senior G Zamal Nixon scored a team-best 14 points, with a perfect 12-of-12 effort at the free throw line. Senior G Adam Brown and junior G Darian Thibodeaux scored 11 points apiece. Reigning C-USA Freshman of the Week Alandise Harris added 10 points and six rebounds. The lead changed nine times and featured several lengthy scoring runs by both teams.
Sophomore F Kendrick Washington returned to the Cougar lineup after sitting out the last four games with a staph infection in his left elbow.
Harris powered Houston to a 70-68 road win against SMU on Jan. 15. Harris registered the second double-double of his young career with 19 points and 11 rebounds. The game went back-and-forth until Brown gave the Cougars the lead for good with a driving jumper with 1:40 left for a 67-66 advantage. Brown came off the bench to pour in 22 points.
MARSHALL (13-5, 1-2 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 vs. East Carolina - 7 p.m. ET
Junior G Damier Pitts scored a team-high and tied a career-high with 25 points as the Thundering Herd knocked off No. 21 West Virginia, 75-71. Pitts sank 10-of-11 free throw attempts and added four rebounds and five assists. Freshman G DeAndre Kane tossed in 18 points. MU held the Mountaineers without a field goal for an 11-minute span and built up as much as a 24-point lead.
Despite 15 points and a team-best nine rebounds from senior Tirrell Baines, Marshall dropped a 77-61 decision to host Memphis on Jan. 15. Kane tossed in 16 points, while Pitts scored 14 points, hitting 5-of-5 free throws.
Baines became the 46th 1,000-point scorer in program history during a 71-57 victory over Savannah State on Jan. 10, finishing the night with eight points and nine rebounds. With 46 1,000-point scorers, Marshall is tied for ninth in the nation with West Virginia and Cincinnati.
MEMPHIS (14-4, 3-1 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 at UAB - 6 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Junior G Charles Carmouche sank a big three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining as the Tigers defeated host Southern Miss, 76-75. Freshmen Will Barton and Chris Crawford came off the bench to score team-highs of 15 and 12 points, respectively. Carmouche finished with 11 points.
Senior F Will Coleman scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds off the bench to lead the Tigers to a 77-61 win over Marshall Jan. 15. It was Coleman's first double-double of the season and fourth of his career. Led by Coleman's 19 points, the Tiger bench accounted for 30 of Memphis' 77 points and outscored the Marshall bench, 30-8.
The Tigers shot 62 percent (17-of-27) and went on a 20-0 run in the first half to secure a lead and held on until the end.
Freshman F Tarik Black added 12 points and nine boards against Marshall.
RICE (8-10, 0-4 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 at UCF - 6 p.m. CT
Freshman David Chadwick led the Owls with 10 points, but Rice dropped a 66-43 decision to host UTEP on Jan. 15. Sophomore F Arsalan Kazemi grabbed 10 rebounds. Kazemi is the only C-USA player averaging a double-double (16.6 ppg and 11.2 rpg.). His 11 double-doubles this season leads C-USA and ties as the eighth-most nationally.
Junior G Connor Frizzelle came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points, including a three-pointer with 18 seconds to play to send the game into overtime, but the Owls dropped an 81-78 decision to Southern Miss on Wednesday. Sophomore Tamir Jackson scored 19 points.
Kazemi finished with 14 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season, but Rice dropped a 75-64 decision to Tulsa on Jan. 8. He also scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but the Owls fell to Tulane, 85-81, on Jan. 5.
Six of Rice's losses this season have been by four points or less.
SMU (10-8, 1-3)
Next Game: Jan. 22 vs. Southern Miss - 2 p.m. CT (TW Texas)
Senior F Papa Dia, the reigning C-USA Player of the Week, registered his 21st career double-double and eighth of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 67-53 loss at UAB on Wednesday. Junior G Rodney Clinkscales added 16 points for the Mustangs.
Dia tallied 23 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks in a 70-68 loss to Houston on Jan. 15. Junior F Robert Nyakundi added 22 points. It was the fifth time this season Dia and Nyakundi both scored 20+ points in the same game. Senior Collin Mangrum, in his first start, had 13 points, four boards and four assists.
Dia tallied 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mustangs to a 64-58 win over Memphis Jan. 12. Nyakundi and Mangrum scored 15 points each. It was the second year in a row the Mustangs beat Memphis at Moody. SMU was 9-of-16 from three-point range and the Mustang defense held the Tigers scoreless for more than 11 minutes.
SMU has won eight of its last 10 games at Moody Coliseum.
Shawn Williams, a 6-7, 225-lb. forward from Dallas, has enrolled at SMU. He transfers from Texas, where he played in seven of the Longhorns' first eight games in 2009-10 before being sidelined with an ankle injury. He will become eligible when grades are posted at the end of the Fall 2011 semester and have three years of eligibility. He was ranked the No. 46 prospect nationally and No. 2 in the state coming out of high school.
SOUTHERN MISS (14-4, 3-2 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 at SMU - 2 p.m. CT
Despite 21 points from senior Gary Flowers, C-USA's leading scorer, the Golden Eagles fell just short to Memphis on a last-second shot, 76-75, Wednesday. Classmate R.L. Horton added 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Southern Miss.
Southern Miss used an incredible second-half performance to post an 86-69 victory over UCF on Jan. 15. The Golden Eagles used a 21-2 run midway through the second half and shot 62.1 percent to outscore UCF, 50-34, after the break.
Four Southern Miss players finished with double-digits in scoring, led by Horton with 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Freshman D.J. Newbill finished with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field and a team-best nine rebounds. Flowers totaled 16 points and eight boards, while junior G Maurice Bolden came off the bench to also score 16. The first half featured eight ties and nine lead changes.
TULANE (12-5, 2-2)
Next Game: Jan. 22 vs. Tulsa - 2 p.m. CT (Cox)
Sophomore G Jordan Callahan led Tulane with a career-high-tying 22 points, scoring 16 in the second half, but the Green Wave dropped a 76-67 decision at East Carolina Saturday. Senior F David Booker had 19 and sophomore G/F Kendall Timmons scored 10 points to reach double figures for the 15th consecutive game.
Tulane had its six-game win streak snapped and suffered its first loss at Fogelman Arena this season, as UTEP stopped the Green Wave, 69-58, on Jan. 12. Timmons paced the Green Wave with 20 points and eight rebounds, while Callahan added 12 points.
Tulane won its sixth game in a row with a 79-70 win over SMU on Jan. 8. Timmons scored a game-high 26 points. Senior G Kris Richard tossed in 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
As a team, Tulane hit 20-of-21 free throws against SMU for the fifth-best performance in school history.
TULSA (9-9, 2-2 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 at Tulane - 2 p.m. CT (Cox)
Senior G Justin Hurtt scored a game-high 20 points, but TU dropped a 64-57 decision to host Houston on Wednesday night. Junior F Steven Idlet registered his fourth double-double of the season, and seventh of his career, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore G/F Bryson Pope added 13 points.
Hurtt tossed in 14 of his 17 points in the second half as the Golden Hurricane handed UAB its first conference loss by a score of 78-62 on Jan. 15. As a team, TU shot a season-best 53.8 percent from the field. Idlet added 16 points and five rebounds, while sophomore G Scottie Haralson chipped in 14 points.
Redshirt freshman C Kodi Maduka also contributed career-highs of nine points and seven rebounds in just 15 minutes off the bench.
Hurtt also scored a team-high 17 points in the Golden Hurricane's 69-59 road loss to Arizona State on Jan. 12. Idlet and Haralson each added 11 points. Pope grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds.
UAB (13-4, 3-1 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 vs. Memphis - 6 p.m. CT (ESPN2)
Senior G Jamarr Sanders scored 22 points, with four three-pointers, to lead UAB to a 67-53 victory over SMU on Wednesday. With the win, the Blazers improved their record at Bartow Arena to a perfect 9-0.
Saturday's game between UAB and Memphis is the second annual Bartow Classic (see page 4 of notebook). Both teams are tied for first place in the C-USA standings.
Junior F Cameron Moore added a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Senior PG Aaron Johnson chipped in 14 points and sophomore F Ovie Soko added 12 points. The Blazers shot 54.5 percent from the field in the second half (12-of-22).
Sanders tossed in 26 points to lead the Blazers to a 66-59 win at East Carolina on Monday night. Moore contributed 16 points and six rebounds in the victory.
Sanders also scored a game-high 22 points in the Blazers' 78-62 loss at Tulsa on Saturday. Freshman G Preston Purifoy came off the bench to score 13 points, while Moore added 11 points.
UCF (14-3, 1-3 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 19 vs. East Carolina - 7 p.m. ET
The Knights suffered their first home loss of the season (10-1) at UCF Arena, dropping a 74-61 decision to East Carolina Wednesday. Junior G Isaac Sosa led the Knights with 16 points. Sophomore F Keith Clanton added 12 points and 10 boards for his fourth double-double of the season, seventh of his career. Clanton also had six blocked shots. Sophomore G Marcus Jordan scored 11 points.
Wednesday's game was played in front of 8,044 fans, the fifth-largest crowd in school history.
UCF defeated Marshall, 65-58, in the conference opener on Jan. 5. Jordan led the Knights with 26 points, 18 in the second half, and six rebounds. Clanton added 14 points and eight boards, while Sosa chipped in with 13 points off the bench with three triples.
The Knights started this year with 14-straight victories to record the best start since UCF moved to the Division I ranks in 1984.
UTEP (15-4, 3-1 C-USA)
Next Game: Jan. 22 at Houston - 6 p.m. MT
Senior PG Julyan Stone broke the Conference USA career assists record in the Miners' 66-43 win over Rice Saturday night. Stone was credited with five assists and now has 633 helpers for his career. He also added four points and 10 rebounds.
Senior Jeremy Williams scored a team-high 14 points, while classmates Randy Culpepper and Christian Polk chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively. It was the Miners' 12th-straight home victory.
The Miners enter Saturday's game at Houston in a four-way tie for first place in C-USA with the Cougars, Memphis and UAB.
Polk and Culpepper sent the Jan. 8 game at UAB into the first and second overtimes, respectively, with dramatic three-pointers at the buzzer before the Blazers won 100-97 in triple OT. Culpepper scored a game-high 34 points to become only the third player in C-USA history to reach the 2,000-career point plateau.
Senior C Claude Britten scored all 14 of his points against UAB in the overtime periods.