ECU Falls at Southern Miss Ending Road Winning Streak
March 2, 2013
From staff and wire reports
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Neil Watson scored 26 points and didn't miss all night as Southern Miss defeated East Carolina, 88-69, Saturday. The loss ended the Pirates' two=game winning streak on the road.
Watson's 26 points came on seven 3-pointers without a miss and 5 for 5 at the stripe.
Jonathan Mills recorded a 15-point, 17-rebound double-double for Southern Miss (22-7, 11-3 Conference USA). Six of those rebounds came on the offensive glass. Dwayne Davis added 17 points and Daveon Boardingham 12.
Maurice Kemp led East Carolina (16-11, 7-7) with 23 points of 7 of 10 shooting from the field, and 9 of 10 at the stripe. Akeem Richardson scored 15 points off the bench and Miguel Paul chipped in 13.
Richmond made four 3-pointers to become the fourth-player in school history to make 80 3s in a season, while Paul surpassed the 1,000-point total for his career. The Pirates also handed out 16 assists to set a new program record for assists in a season (461). Southern Miss was 13 of 20 on treys, 29 of 55 (52.7 percent) from the field. The Pirates hit 8 of 22 treys, 23 of 53 overall (43.4 percent).
The first half featured seven ties and seven lead changes before Southern Miss scored the final five points to lead by that margin at halftime, 36-31. Jerrold Brooks put the Golden Eagles ahead to stay with a jumper with 1:12 left in the half and Watson closed the period with a buzzer-beating 3.
ECU took its largest lead of the game with 4:14 to play in the first half as Paul and Paris Roberts-Campbell buried back-to-back 3s for a 28-24 advantage. The Golden Eagles then scored five straight before Richmond gave ECU its final lead of the evening, 31-29, with 2:!2 left until halftime.
The second half belonged to Southern Miss, who wasted little time extending its lead, more than doubling its in just over four minutes. East Carolina pulled within eight points on two occasions, but never not inside that margin in the final 12 minutes.
The Pirates trailed by eight, 53-45, with 12:07 to play, but were outscored 14-4 over the next 3:30 to fall behind by 18. The lead ballooned to 23 points late in the second half as the Golden Eagles won their 10th straight over ECU.
The loss dropped the Pirates into a three-way tie for fifth-place in Conference USA at 7-7 along with Tulsa and UAB.