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Memphis 74, Southern Miss 56

2/24/2004

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) --Sean Banks scored 22 points and No. 19
Memphis won its 11th straight game, beating Southern Mississippi
74-56 Tuesday night.

Memphis (20-4, 11-2 Conference USA) pulled away with a
second-half burst after the Golden Eagles took their only lead of
the game. Rattling off a 31-8 run, the Tigers took the lead to 22
points and coasted the rest of the way.

Southern Mississippi (12-12, 5-8) dropped its fourth game in the
last five.

For the Tigers, the game had a revenge tone as Memphis was
trying to avenge a 66-63 loss at Southern earlier in the season --
one of only two conference losses for the Tigers.

Rodney Carney added 18 points for Memphis, including 13 in the
second half when the Tigers made their march. Antonio Burks,
saddled with foul trouble in the second half, added 15 points and
five assists, while Anthony Rice scored 12 points and grabbed nine
rebounds.

Jasper Johnson and Charles Gaines led the Golden Eagles with 14
points each, 10 of Johnson's coming in the first half. Gaines
managed only two field goals, but was 10-of-11 from the line.
Jarekus Singleton finished with 12 points.

Memphis took an early lead because Southern Mississippi couldn't
hit a shot. The Golden Eagles missed their first 10 from the field,
falling behind 14-1. Their first basket didn't come until Jasper
Johnson scored inside with 11:18 left in the half.

But Southern Mississippi went on an 11-2 run of its own to cut
into the Tiger lead.

Memphis, however, would eventually lead by as many as 10 and
held a 31-24 edge at the half.

Jasper Johnson led Southern Mississippi with 10 points, while
Banks' 13 and 11 from Burks paced the Tigers. The two were a
combined 11-of-17 from the field in the half.

A 13-5 run to open the second half would give Southern
Mississippi its only lead. And about the same time, Memphis lost
Burks, its second-leading scorer and point guard, with his fourth
foul, presenting further trouble.

The Tigers responded with an 18-2 run, taking their biggest lead
midway through the period. Memphis would eventually lead 67-45,
capping its 31-8 run. During the 12-minute stretch, the Golden
Eagles would manage only two field goals.

The Memphis defense pressured Southern Mississippi into 16
turnovers and only 35-percent shooting from the field. Meanwhile,
the Tigers outrebounded the Golden Eagles 37-30.