Conference USA Hoops Roundup

The Memphis Tigers continue to flex their muscles, as they stay perfect in conference and are the hottest team in the nation with 19 consecutive wins. Rice and Marshall both recorded their first conference road victories of the season, as Rice overcame a record-setting performance by the great Jermaine Taylor. Houston and SMU were game opponents, but couldn't seal the deal on the road.

Tigers Streak through Bartow (Birmingham, AL)— The Memphis Tigers extended their Conference USA winning streak to an inexplicable 55 games as they delivered with a 71-60 road victory over UAB. Memphis broke a 28-28 halftime tie and went on a 16-2 run down the stretch to secure the hard-fought win. It was a team effort for Memphis as junior guard Doneal Mack scored 17 points, and senior guard Antonio Anderson had 16, and senior forward Robert Dozier added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Memphis did what they do best, play stifling defense, as they held UAB leading scorer Robert Vaden scoreless, as he missed all 17 shots he took from the field.

Memphis (25-3, 13-0 C-USA) has won 19 straight games, currently the longest streak in the nation, while UAB (19-9, 9-4 C-USA) snapped a six-game winning streak. Memphis' 55 straight C-USA victories represents the third-longest conference winning streak in NCAA history.

Owls Become Road Warriors? (Orlando, FL)—
The Rice Owls notched their first C-USA road victory of the season and their first road victory this calendar year as they traveled to Orlando and upset the UCF Knights, 69-66. On the way to the upset win, Rice nearly coughed up a 20-point lead as the Knights made a furious run at the end of the game led by C-USA leading scorer Jermaine Taylor's career high 45 points. Still, Taylor couldn't nail a game-tying three-point shot with three seconds left, and the visitors from Houston, Texas held on. Rice was led in scoring by senior guard Rodney Foster, who bucketed 22 points.

The victory snapped a three game losing streak for Rice (9-18, 4-9 C-USA), and UCF (16-11, 6-7 C-USA) has now lost five out of six games.

Cougars run into a Hurricane (Tulsa, OK)—
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane kept their hopes for a number two seed in the C-USA tournament alive with an important, 77-68 victory over Houston. Center Jerome Jordan led Tulsa with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Tulsa connected on 20 of 27 free throws in the final seven minutes to secure the win. Houston was led by junior guard Kelvin Lewis who scored 24 points.

The victory was the second in a row for Tulsa (19-9, 9-4 C-USA), while Houston (17-9, 8-5 C-USA) has lost two of their last three games.

Eagles Drown in a Wave (Hattiesburg, MS)—
The Tulane Green Wave went on the road and notched a tough, 73-59 victory over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles Tuesday night. The Green Wave claimed the lead for good with just under seven minutes left as they finished the game on a 24-10 run. Tulane was paced by a career-high 23 points by sophomore guard Kris Richard, and senior forward Robinson Louisme chipped in with 12 points and a game high 16 rebounds. Southern Miss was led by junior guard Jeremy Wise's 16 points.

Tulane (12-15, 6-8 C-USA) has won two straight games, and Southern Miss (14-13, 4-9 C-USA) has dropped seven of their last eight games.

Marshall Shows Up on the Road (Greenville, NC)—
The Marshall Thundering Herd recorded their first C-USA road victory as they traveled south to Greenville, and defeated the ECU Pirates, 76-62. Marshall opened the game on a 14-2 run and never looked back as they pounded the home team. Senior forward Markel Humphrey led the Herd with 24 points and eight rebounds, while junior guard Chris Lutz chipped in with 15 points. ECU was led by sophomore center Chad Wynn, who scored 16.

Marshall (13-15, 5-8 C-USA) has won three out of their last five games, while ECU (13-14, 5-9 C-USA) has dropped three in a row.

SMU Puts up a Fight, but falls Short (El Paso, TX)—
The UTEP Miners scored a less than impressive 61-58 victory in overtime over the last-place SMU Mustangs. C-USA all-time leading scorer Stefon Jackson rescued his team as he scored seven of the Miners last 10 points to avoid an embarrassing upset. Jackson finished with 28 points on 8-22 shooting. Freshman guard Derek Williams led SMU with 13 points, while junior forward Mouhammed Faye grabbed 15 boards.

UTEP (17-10, 8-5 C-USA) has won four out of five games, while SMU (8-18, 2-11 C-USA) has dropped four out of their last five games.

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