Feb. 22 Men's Basketball Notebook
Feb. 22, 2012
Five Conference USA games are slated for Wednesday night, including a nationally televised game featuring East Carolina at Memphis. The Tigers host ECU at FedExForum for a 7 p.m. CST tip on CBS Sports Network. Memphis is coming off a two-point loss to UTEP, but sophomore Tarik Black had a standout performance for the Tigers with a career-best 26 points and 10 rebounds. East Carolina has been led by senior Darrius Morrow, while junior guard Miguel Paul has been the league's top playmaker this season. Paul is averaging 5.9 assists per game to rank 22nd nationally.
Marshall, still in contention for a first-round bye in the 2012 C-USA Championship, has the advantage of playing three of its last four regular season games at home. However, Marshall will expect a challenge Wednesday as the Herd hosts a Houston team coming off its big win over Southern Miss on Saturday. The game tips at 7 p.m. EST at the Cam Henderson Center.
SMU closes out a three-game homestand with Tulane at 7 p.m. CST. The Mustangs will need to slow down high-scoring Ricky Tarrant, who has posted two 33-point performances this season. Tarrant has received seven C-USA Freshman of the Week honors, including the last five in a row. The Mustangs are also young, but still have senior Robert Nyakundi to lead them. Nyakundi is averaging 14.8 ppg and ranks 28th nationally for three-point field goal percentage.
In the other televised game of the night, Rice hosts UCF for an 8 p.m. CST tip on CSS. The Knights have won four of their last five outings, the only loss a four-point decision on the road to Southern Miss. The Owls will hope to hand them another defeat, while earning career win No. 600 for head coach Ben Braun.
Southern Miss is hoping to rebound from its loss at Houston, but is back on the road with a game at UTEP Wednesday night. Tip-off is 7 p.m. MST. The host Miners are riding some momentum following their 60-58 road win at Memphis. Junior guard Jacques Streeter scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half as UTEP rallied for its first road win of the season. Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy will also be looking to reach a milestone as a Golden Eagles victory would mark his 400th career win.
Tulsa and UAB are idle Wednesday. Following Wednesday's action, just three regular-season games will remain for each team before the 2012 C-USA Men's Basketball Championship is played March 7-10 at FedExForum in Memphis.