Southern Miss runs out of gas in C-USA Tournament

Published 11:07 am Thursday, March 10, 2022

FRISCO, Texas — One upset was all Southern Miss had in the tank at the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament.

Five Florida Atlantic players scored in double figures, and the Owls pulled away in the second half to beat Southern Miss 86-59 in the second round of the C-USA Tournament on Wednesday.

Southern Miss (7-26) snapped a 14-game losing streak by beating UTSA in the first round on Tuesday, and only trailed by six at halftime against Florida Atlantic.

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FAU, however, opened the second half with a 15-4 run to take a 50-33 lead on a dunk by Vladislav Goldin with 15:26 remaining.

Southern Miss went nearly eight minutes without a field goal, and five minutes without scoring at all. Tyler Stevenson hit a jumper with 10:38 left to finally end both droughts, but Florida Atlantic led 61-36 at that point.

“In a tournament setting like this, typically the team that played the day before has a slight advantage the next day, especially in the first half,” FAU coach Dusty May said. “For us to have a lead and not feel like we played anywhere near our full potential, we felt like we could make a run in the second half. I thought our guys were phenomenal in the second half, on both sides of the ball.”

Bryan Greenlee led Florida Atlantic (19-13) with 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, and had six assists.

Goldin added 12 points for the Owls. Giancarlo Rosado had 11 points, while Brandon Weatherspoon and Alijah Martin both scored 10.

Florida Atlantic advanced to play UAB in the quarterfinals Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

Walyn Napper had 17 points and six rebounds for Southern Miss. DeAndre Pinckney added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Tyler Stevenson had 10 points.

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Conference USA Tournament
At Frisco, Texas
March 8
Marshall 74, Florida International 62
Southern Miss 67, UTSA 64
March 9
Rice 73, Charlotte 61
Louisiana Tech 77, Marshall 67
UTEP 74, Old Dominion 64
Florida Atlantic 86, Southern Miss 59
March 10
North Texas vs. Rice, 5:30 p.m.
Western Kentucky vs. Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.
Middle Tennessee vs. UTEP, 8 p.m.
UAB vs. Florida Atlantic, 8:30 p.m.
March 11
Semifinals, 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. (CBSSN)
March 12
Championship game, 7:30 p.m. (CBSSN)