There were no big shake-ups in the Conference USA men's basketball standings, but that does not mean Saturday was without drama. All six games were determined by single-digits, including a long-range buzzer beater by UTEP's McKenzie Moore to give the Miners a 68-67 road win at East Carolina. Memphis started the day with a one-point victory over Marshall, 73-72, to give the Tigers their 10th straight win. Southern Miss posted its ninth win in a row with a 62-59 victory at Tulsa. The Golden Eagles and Memphis are the only two teams that are still undefeated in conference play. UTEP and UCF are tied for third in the standings. The Knights also picked up a 74-65 win Saturday over SMU to move to 4-1 in conference games. Tulane earned its 12th win this season at Devlin Fieldhouse, defeating Rice, 73-66. Houston snapped a four-game losing skid with a 66-61 victory over UAB.
(RV) Memphis 73, Marshall 72
Tulane 73, Rice 66
UCF 74, SMU 65
Southern Miss 62, Tulsa 59
Houston 66, UAB 61
UTEP 68, East Carolina 67
C-USA MEN'S BASKETBALL SHOOTING STARS
Memphis 73, Marshall 72: Memphis won its 10th game in a row, edging Marshall by a score of 73-72. The Tigers improve to 16-3 overall and 5-0 in conference. Memphis held a five-point lead (38-33) at the half as junior Joe Jackson (Memphis, Tenn.) scored eight points and had four assists. He finished with 16 points, his 15th-straight game in double figures, and five helpers. Sophomore Adonis Thomas (Memphis, Tenn.) added 15 points and freshman F Shaq Goodwin (Decatur, Ga.) chipped in 11. Herd junior G DeAndre Kane (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored a game-high 22 points and added five rebounds and four assists. He became the fourth player in Marshall history to rank in the top 10 all-time in assists (22nd/1,313) and top 25 in assists (10th/250). He has scored in double figures in each of his last five games and is averaging 16.8 points in conference play after returning from a broken hand injury.
Tulane 73, Rice 66: Tulane earned its 12th victory at Devlin Fieldhouse with a 73-66 win over visiting Rice. Green Wave junior Josh Davis (Raleigh, N.C.) was one rebound shy of his 12th double-double of the season with 22 points and nine boards. Sophomore G Ricky Tarrant (Pleasant Grove, Ala.) and senior G Jordan Callahan (Marietta, Ga,) chipped in 16 and 10 points, respectively. Rice sophomore F Seth Gearhart (Wilsonville, Ore.) tallied a career-high 23 points and seven rebounds for the Owls. He scored 13 of those 23 points in the first half and went on to finish the game shooting 8-of-12 with four three-pointers. Sophomore G Julian DeBose (Washington, D.C.) connected on 4-of-8 attempts from the floor and finished the game with 12 points and three rebounds. He was joined in double figures by freshman G Max Guercy (Arleta, Calif.), who added 11 points and six assists. He also did not commit a turnover in 39 minutes of action.
UCF 74, SMU 65: Behind 21 points and a game-high 10 boards from junior Isaiah Sykes (Detroit, Mich.), UCF topped SMU, 74-65, to improve to 4-1 in league play. Sykes, who recorded his second-straight 20-point outing, made some big plays down the stretch after the Mustangs tied the contest at 63 with 3:45 to play. He was one of three Knights to finish with double digits in scoring as junior G Calvin Newell (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 17 points and classmate Tristan Spurlock (Woodbridge, Va.) added 14 points and a career-high four blocks. Sophomore G Ryan Manuel (Houston, Texas) led the Mustangs with 17 points, his second-highest point total of the season.
Southern Miss 62, Tulsa 59: Southern Miss improved to 6-0 in conference play with a 62-59 road win at Tulsa. It was the Golden Eagles' 13th game away from Reed Green this season as they improve to 17-4 overall. Senior F Jonathan Mills (Chicago, Ill.) connected on three-of-four free throws in the final nine seconds as Southern Miss hung on for its ninth straight victory. The win tied the record for the best conference start in school history with the 1990-91, who started 6-0 in the Metro Conference. Senior G Dwayne Davis (Philadelphia, Pa.) led Southern Miss with 11 points and seven rebounds. Junior G Jerrold Brooks (Rochester, N.Y.) also had 11 points and Mills added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Four players scored in double-figures for Tulsa, led by junior Pat Swilling Jr. (New Orleans, La.), who paced the squad with 14 points and shot 4-of-9 from three-point land. Freshman James Woodard (Edmond, Okla.) added 13 points and led TU in rebounds with seven, while senior F Kauri Black (Rialto, Calif.) chipped in 12 points. Senior G Scottie Haralson (Jackson, Miss.) recorded 11 points.
Houston 66, UAB 61: Sophomore F TaShawn Thomas(Killeen, Texas) led all players with 17 points and nine rebounds to lead Houston to a 66-61 win against UAB. Thomas was one of three Cougars to score in double digits and dished out four assists with a block and steal against the Blazers. Sophomore G Joseph Young (Houston, Texas) finished with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while redshirt freshman G Jherrod Stiggers (Terrell, Texas) came off the bench to pour in 11 points with a game-high three treys. With the win, the Cougars snapped a season-long four-game losing streak. UAB did rally from a double-digit second half deficit. Junior Jordan Swing (Birmingham, Ala.) led the Blazers with 20 points off the bench, going 7-for-12 from the floor and 3-of-6 from downtown. He added seven assists and six rebounds in this third 20-plus point performance of the season. Senior G Terence Jones (Baltimore, Md.) totaled 14 points, all in the second half, and junior F Rod Rucker (Elberton, Ga.) added eight points. Swing and Jones combined for 29 of UAB's 35 second half points.
UTEP 68, East Carolina 67: UTEP sophomore G McKenzie Moore (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give Miners a 68-67 road win at East Carolina. Moore scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the game, while teammate John Bohannon (Lancaster, Texas) came off the bench for a game-high 23 points and pulled down nine boards. ECU senior Miguel Paul (Winter Haven, Fla.) led the Pirates with 20 points, three assists and four steals. Classmate Maurice Kemp (Miami, Fla.) came off the bench for 10 points and junior F Ty Armstrong (Melbourne, Fla.) added 13 points. East Carolina was 20-of-21 from the free throw line.
UPCOMING GAMES Wednesday, January 30
(RV)Memphis at East Carolina (C-USADN) - 6:00p
SMU at Marshall (C-USADN) - 6:00p
Houston at Rice (C-USADN) - 7:00p
UCF at Tulane (C-USADN) - 7:00p
UTEP at UAB (C-USADN) - 7:00p