GREENVILLE, NC (WDAM) - Five Golden Eagles scored in double figures, and with exceptional shooting, Southern Miss over-came a slow start to take down East Carolina 72-60. While Southern Miss handled East Carolina (9-10, 0-6), Tulsa took care of first place Central Florida at home, and Marshall fell at home to UAB.
This means Memphis, who beat Rice tonight, and Southern Miss share the lead atop the Conference USA standings at 5-1.
After falling behind 9-4 to start the game, Southern Miss (18-3, 5-1) took its first lead 18-17 with 6:51 remaining in the first half, and closed out the remainder of the half with a 20-5 run to lead 38-23 at the break.
East Carolina (9-10, 0-6) narrowed the gap to as few as seven points, but the pirates had no answer for the black and gold's solid shooting the entire night. The Golden Eagles shot 42 percent from the field, and 50 percent from long range, connecting on 7 of 14 treys.
Jonathan Mills lead the way in scoring for Southern Miss with 13 points, Leshay Page scored 12, and Neil Watson fell one assist short of a double-double, scoring 11 points and dishing out 9 assists.
The Golden Eagle defense kept Conference USA's assist leader, Miguel Paul, to four assists, but could not prevent him from scoring 21, which lead all scorers. If it wasn't Paul, it was Darrius Morrow or Erin Straugn scoring, who both had 14. Morrow registered a double-double with an additional 11 rebounds.
The Golden Eagles next face UCF on Saturday.