Houston 75, Southern Miss 53

Andre Owens had 15 of his 20 points in the first half and Houston never trailed in a 75-53 rout of Southern Mississippi on Saturday night.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Andre Owens had 15 of his 20 points in the first half and Houston never trailed in a 75-53 rout of Southern Mississippi on Saturday night.

Ramon Dyer had 17 points and Lenny Smith added 16 for the Cougars (15-10, 6-5 Conference USA), who opened the game with a 21-4 run and were never seriously threatened in winning for the third time in four games.

It was another lopsided loss for coach Larry Eustachy in his first season at last-place Southern Miss (10-13, 1-10), which has lost five straight and 11 of 12.

Houston beat the Golden Eagles twice this season, winning the first meeting 63-53 last month behind 19 points from Brian Latham and 18 from Owens.

Owens entered the rematch averaging 17.2 points -- and nearly had that by halftime.

He had just seven points in his last game, a 20-point loss to Charlotte, and more than doubled that in the opening 20 minutes.

Houston led 45-31 at the break, then scored 11 straight points as part of a 17-5 run to open the second half.

Houston shot better than 49 percent from the field and held the Golden Eagles to 34 percent shooting.

Shakiem Mitchell had 11 points off the bench for Southern Miss. Leading scorer Rashaad Carruth was held to eight points -- five below his average -- on 3-of-15 shooting.


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