East Carolina forward Taylor Gagnon (12) stops Southern Mississippi forward Jason Forte (00) from shooting during the first half of a college basketball game Saturday, March 4, 2006, in Hattiesburg, Miss. (AP Photo/Steve Coleman)
March 4, 2006
From staff and wire reports
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Jason Forte had 17 points and Southern Mississippi snapped a five-game losing streak with a 74-56 victory over East Carolina on Saturday.
Jarekus Singleton and Craig Craft added 12 points apiece for the Golden Eagles (9-20, 3-11 Conference USA), who clinched the 11th seed in the 12-team league tournament which begins Wednesday in Memphis, Tenn.
Courtney Captain had 13 points for the Pirates (8-19, 2-12), who ended the regular season having lost three straight and seven of eight. East Carolina will be seeded 12th in the C-USA tournament.
Southern Miss -- which entered having lost 11 of its last 12 -- led as many as 19 late and never trailed by more than four in the game's opening moments.
Trailing by 19 with 9:32, ECU continued to battle back and cut its deficit to 10 with two minutes remaining before Southern Miss paraded to the foul line.
The Golden Eagles used a 12-5 run late in the first half to take a 28-20 lead at halftime.
Courtney Beasley added 11 points and Mildon Ambres finished with 10 for Southern Miss, which outrebounded East Carolina 42-32 and scored 18 points off 19 turnovers by the Pirates.
Corey Rouse had 11 points and 11 rebounds for his 27th career double-double tying him with former Cincinnati All-American Danny Fortson and Memphis' Chris Massie for 10th place on the C-USA all-time list. Freshman Sam Hinnant scored 10 points for East Carolina.