Memphis and Southern Miss both extended double-digit win streaks and improved to 7-0 in conference play with victories on Saturday. The Tigers have now won 12 in a row, outscoring Tulsa, 94-64, for the largest margin of victory this season. The Golden Eagles junior guard Neil Watson was 7-of-7 from the field, and 6-of-6 from three-point range, in a 79-75 road win at UAB. It was the 10th straight victory for Southern Miss. UTEP moved into a tie for third place with a 62-50 win over Tulane as the Miners returned to the Don Haskins Center after a two-game road swing. East Carolina senior Maurice Kemp scored a career-high 33 points in the Pirates 79-63 win over Rice, while Marshall senior Nigel Spikes had a career-best nine blocks in the Herd's 75-71 victory against UCF. Houston rallied from a 17-point halftime victory to defeat SMU in overtime, 84-80. Southern Miss' Watson and East Carolina's Kemp were also celebrating their birthdays Saturday.
Memphis 94, Tulsa 64: Memphis earned its 12th straight win - tied as the eighth longest in school history - with a 94-64 victory against Tulsa. The 30-point differential was the Tigers' largest margin of victory this season. Senior F D.J. Stephens (Killeen, Texas) registered his first doubled-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds. He had tied his career-high with 15 points at the half and added five blocks. Junior Antonio Barton (Baltimore, Md.) came off the bench for team-high 16 points. Senior F Kauri Black (Rialto, Calif.) scored a career-high 14 points to lead four TU players in double figures. Senior Scottie Haralson (Jackson, Miss.) made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points with five rebounds. Pat Swilling, Jr., (New Orleans, La.) also hit three treys and tallied 11 points, while freshman G Rashad Ray (New Orleans, La.) added 10 points.
Southern Miss 79, UAB 75: Southern Miss placed four players in double-figures as it held on to defeat UAB, 79-75. The Golden Eagles won their 10th straight game, as they improved to 18-4 overall and 7-0 in Conference USA. It is the best conference start in school history. They also swept the season series from UAB for the first time since 2007. Junior G Neil Watson (Kansas City, Kan.) led all players with 24 points and four assists. Watson, who was playing on his 22nd birthday, was 7-of-7 from the field, including 6-of-6 from three, while hitting 4-of-5 free throws. Junior Michael Craig (Phoenix, Ariz.) came off the bench to score 16 points and grab a game-high nine rebounds. Junior G Jerrold Brooks (Rochester, N.Y.) had 16 points and senior Dwayne Davis (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 10. Southern Miss connected on 63.8-percent (30-of-47) from the field, including a season-high 58.8-percent (10-of-17) from three-point range. UAB junior G Jordan Swing (Birmingham, Ala.) led the Blazers off the bench with 17 points. Junior G Quincy Taylor (Wichita, Kan.) also came off the bench for 15 points and five assists, while classmate Robert Williams (Greenville, Miss.) added 14 points. Junior C Fahro Alihodzic (Vlasencia, Bosnia) contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.
UTEP 62, Tulane 50: UTEP built up a 23-point lead and held on for a 62-50 victory against Tulane. Sophomore G McKenzie Moore (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) led the Miners with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Senior Jordan Callahan (Marietta, Ga.) came off the bench, after making 85 consecutive starts, to lead the Green Wave with nine points.
Marshall 75, UCF 71: Marshall snapped UCF's four-game win streak with a 75-71 victory against the visiting Knights. Junior Elijah Pittman (Covington, Ky.) led the Herd with 21 points. Marshall shot a season-high 51.9 percent and blocked 14 shots, which tied for second-most in school history. Senior C Nigel Spikes (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) had nine blocks, which tied for fourth in Marshall's single-game records. Spikes did some work on the offensive end of the floor as well with 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field. Junior D.D. Scarver (Birmingham, Ala.) put up 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field. Twelve of Marshall's 17 assists came from junior G DeAndre Kane (Pittsburgh, Pa.) who also put up six points and four rebounds. UCF senior Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) scored 24 points and pulled down nine rebounds, both game-highs. Calvin Newell scored 19 points.
East Carolina 79, Rice 63: East Carolina senior Maurice Kemp (Miami, Fla.) and junior Ty Armstrong (Melbourne, Fla.) registered career-highs in the Pirates' 79-63 win against Rice. Kemp, celebrating his 22nd birthday, poured in 33 points and became the first Pirate since Sam Hinnant during the 2007-08 season to have multiple 30-point games in a season. Kemp also had nine rebounds and six steals for the night. Armstrong added 22 points as he and Kemp combined for 55 of 79 ECU points. Rice senior Tamir Jackson (Paterson, N.J.) was one rebound shy of his fourth double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Houston 84, SMU 80 (ot): Houston overcame a 17-point halftime deficit and then a buzzer-beating, game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation to take an 84-80 overtime win against SMU. Scoring only 18 points in the entire first half, the Cougars equaled that point total just seven minutes into the second half and connected on 16-of-23 (.696) shots from the field. It was the biggest comeback win for the Cougars since the program overcame a 22-point margin in an overtime home win against UCF during the 2006-07 season. Sophomore Joseph Young (Houston, Texas) led UH with 17 points and six assists. SMU junior Shawn Williams (Duncanville, Texas) hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer of regulation to send the game into overtime and finished with 13 points. Classmate Nick Russell (Duncanville, Texas) led the Mustangs with a game-high 22 points and five assists.
UPCOMING GAMES Wednesday, February 6
(RV) Southern Miss at UCF (C-USADN) - 6:00p
(RV) Memphis at SMU (C-USADN) - 7:00p
Marshall at Tulane (C-USADN) - 7:00p
UAB at Tulsa (C-USADN) - 7:05p
Rice at UTEP (C-USADN) - 8:00p