(4) Memphis 85

(17-2, 3-0 C-USA)

Southern Miss 68

(7-12, 1-3 C-USA)

    5:00 PM ET, January 21, 2006

    Reed Green Coliseum, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

    1 2 T
    #4MEM 45 4085
    USM 35 3368

    Top Performers

    Memphis: D. Washington Jr. 20 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Southern Miss: J. Singleton 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Washington's 20 fuels No. 4 Memphis past Southern Miss.

    HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Darius Washington Jr. is becoming Memphis' closer.

    Washington scored 11 of his 20 points in the final 8 minutes, helping the fourth-ranked Tigers pull away for an 85-68 victory over Southern Mississippi on Saturday night.

    It was the second time this season Washington dominated a second half -- he had 15 of his 20 points after halftime in a win over Providence -- and it left coach John Calipari wondering how effective the sophomore could be if he could find his rhythm earlier.

    "It's unbelievable how he finishes games off," Calipari said. "We're running an offense that's all based on reads, and I've got to do a better job of training him so those reads are easier for him. The offense is a driving offense -- we're going to get in the lane at some point. And it's been really good for us."

    The bigger, deeper Tigers (17-2, 3-0 Conference USA) never trailed and withstood a strong second half by the Golden Eagles' Jarekus Singleton to win their sixth straight.

    Singleton had all 19 of his points after halftime and was 10-of-14 from the free-throw line. He scored 14 straight points for Southern Miss to pull the Golden Eagles within 10 on a basket with 5:52 remaining.

    "I was just trying to make something happen," Singleton said.

    By then, Washington had taken over at both ends of the court. He kept the pressure on the Golden Eagles' guards, and Memphis held Southern Miss to two field goals the rest of the way in winning its fourth straight in the series.

    "I got layups here and there from being aggressive," Washington said. "Being aggressive on defense, things opened up."

    Robert Dozier and Chris Douglas-Roberts had 14 points apiece, and Rodney Carney -- who entered averaging a team-best 18.1 points -- had all 11 of his points in the first half for Memphis.

    Carney broke the school's career 3-point shooting record early in the game, then ran into foul trouble in the second half and fouled out with 7:50 to play.

    He entered tied with Anthony Rice with 242 career 3-pointers, then surpassed that mark with his first of three straight 3s in the opening minutes.

    "That's what I bring to the team -- spurts, runs like that," Carney said.

    Memphis led by as many as 14 in the first half, taking a 35-21 lead after Andre Allen's basket capped a 12-2 run with about 5 minutes left. The Tigers led 45-35 at halftime.

    Southern Miss got no closer than eight in the second half. Singleton's first basket made it 47-39 with 19:03 remaining.

    "They're going to make runs. They see Memphis on their schedule, they're going to make some shots they usually don't make," Washington said. "But I was telling the guys that sooner or later, they were going to break down. Just keep going and going at them until they're like 'Whoa, we can't take it anymore.'"

    Memphis then held the Golden Eagles without a field goal for more than 7 minutes and used a 13-5 run to build a 60-44 lead.

    "They are the fastest team I have ever coached against," Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy said. "As a collection of runners, they really come at you."

    Courtney Beasley had 16 points, sixth-man David Cornwell added 12 points and Mildon Ambres finished with 10 for Southern Miss (7-12, 1-3), which has lost three straight and five of six.

    Eustachy was called for a technical foul with 10:25 remaining for arguing with an official.

    Southern Miss fell to 1-21 all-time against ranked opponents at home. The Golden Eagles haven't beaten a ranked team at Reed Green Coliseum in nearly 20 years, a 69-66 victory over No. 20 Virginia Tech on Feb. 22, 1986.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 85 68
    FG Made-Attempted 27-50 (.540) 19-42 (.452)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-12 (.417) 3-12 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 26-38 (.684) 27-45 (.600)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 17 0

    2005-06 Season

    » Jan 21, 2006 MEM 85, @USM 68Recap
    Feb 14, 2006 @MEM 80, USM 41Recap