March 11, 2009
Final Stats |
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UCFAthletics.com) - Southern Miss had four players finish with double-figures in scoring as the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles posted a 77-53 victory over the No. 6 UCF men's basketball team Wednesday in first round action at the Conference USA Championship at the FedEx Forum. Sophomore forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) scored 16 points and senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) added 15 points for the Knights (17-14).
Southern Miss (15-16) shot 46.6 percent overall for the contest. The Golden Eagles led 42-25 at halftime and pushed their advantage to as many as 28 points after the break.
Taylor, who earned C-USA Player of the Year honors Wednesday morning, connected on 5-of-16 shots from the floor. UCF made just 35.7 percent of its attempts from the field and went 5-of-28 (17.9 percent) from 3-point range.
"It was a struggle, but our lack of success in making shots got to our heads a little bit on the defensive end and affected our energy on defense," UCF head coach Kirk Speraw said. "You can't let that happen. You still have to play hard defensively. We've got to be able to make shots."
After a Taylor dunk at the 16:12 mark, UCF led 8-4 to open the game. Southern Miss then posted an 18-2 run and never looked back. Craig Craft hit a pair of triples and totaled eight points during the spurt.
Southern Miss made 25 trips to the free-throw line during the contest, making 18 shots (72.0 percent). The Golden Eagles finished with a 38-25 edge on the glass. The team grabbed 16 offensive boards.
Tyler hit two 3-pointers for UCF and also totaled a team-high six rebounds. Freshman guard A.J. Romzpa (Chicago, Ill.) dished out eight assists in the losing effort.
Courtney Beasley and Jeremy Wise both scored 19 points for Southern Miss. Craft and Horton recorded 16 points each. Craft had a double-double as he posted 11 rebounds.
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