Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Memphis 89, Southern Mississippi 73

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Conference USA's ever-changing membership will be glad to see Memphis exit stage left for the Big East Conference.

The No. 21 Tigers clinched their eighth straight C-USA title Saturday, putting five men scoring in double figures in an 89-73 drilling of Southern Mississippi at FedEx Forum.

Freshman forward Shaq Goodwin scored 19 points and dished out five assists as Memphis (24-3, 13-0 C-USA) won its 18th straight game since an 87-78 loss to Louisville Dec. 15. Sixth man Chris Crawford added 19 points, D.J. Stephens tallied 16, Joe Jackson hit for 15 and Adonis Thomas contributed 12 points.

Dwayne Davis was magnificent in defeat for the Golden Eagles (21-7, 10-3) with a game-high 28 points, 18 in the first half. Jerrold Brooks netted 16 and Jonathan Mills scored 11 for USM, which likely saw its hopes of an at-large NCAA Tournament bid end.

Goodwin, who finished a point off his career high of 20, set on Dec. 5 against Ohio, got the Tigers going with a rare four-point play with 7 minutes left in the first half. Intentionally fouled by Neil Watson as he hit a transition layup, Goodwin converted two free throws.

On Memphis' ensuing possession, Stephens threw down the 107th dunk of his career -- his elbows were above the rim as he did so -- to fire up the crowd of nearly 18,000 and complete a six-point possession that gave the Tigers a 25-20 lead.

Memphis hit the Golden Eagles with a 15-2 spurt over the first half's final 3:59 to establish a 46-30 halftime advantage. Crawford drilled his fourth 3 of the half, then drew a foul while shooting a 3 and made all three shots to cap the run.

Jackson's 3-pointer with 16:31 remaining upped the margin to 57-34. Southern Miss got the deficit down to 72-60 with 8 minutes left, but the Tigers quickly rattled off six straight points and were never bothered again.

Notes: Southern Miss entered this season with one of the least experienced teams. It returned just four players with a combined six years of Division I experience, tying Lipscomb, Mississippi State and Rice at the list's top. ... Until Memphis' 89-76 win Feb. 9 in Hattiesburg, the previous seven meetings between the Golden Eagles and Tigers had been decided by a combined 24 points. ... Memphis entered the day with 350 wins, the third-most in Div. I since the 21st century started. Duke (381) and Kansas (380) rank first and second, respectively.
View Comments (4)