As much as I disdain New Year’s resolutions, I’ll try to post more this basketball season. With that, we have Conference USA stars from Sunday, plus the upcoming schedule. Thanks go here to the league office.
Memphis freshman Antonio Barton (Baltimore, Md.) scored a career-high 24 points, including five three-pointers, as the No. 21/22 Tigers defeated Tennessee State, 91-86. Freshman Tarik Black (Memphis, Tenn.) also established a new career-high with 22 points, scoring 15 in the first half, and Will Barton (Baltimore, Md.) added 19 points and team-high eight rebounds. Memphis improves its winning percentage to 81 percent (73-17) in the month of January since the 1999-2000 campaign.
UTEP senior G Julyan Stone (Goleta, Calif.) was just two rebounds shy of a triple-double as the Miners defeated Sam Houston State, 74-65. Stone tallied 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. He had zero turnovers for the 20th time in his Miner career. With his 10 assists, he became the third C-USA player in history to register more than 600 career helpers. He now needs just (five?) more assists to break the conference record currently held by USF’s Reggie Kohn (606). UTEP has tied the school record for most wins entering league play.
Marshall junior G Damier Pitts (Charlotte, N.C.) scored a career-high 25 points, including 17 in the second half, to lead the Herd to a 74-65 road victory at St. Bonaventure. Pitts helped MU make a run in the second half before finishing the night hitting 7-13 shots, including five three-pointers.
Sophomore F Arsalan Kazemi (Esfahan, Iran) scored a game-high 20 points as Rice knocked off TCU, 70-61. Kazemi was 10-for-11 at the line on the night and went 5-for-7 from the field, but the reigning C-USA Player of the Week had a streak of four straight double-doubles come to an end with an eight-rebound effort. Rice trailed by as many as 10 points early in the first half, but Frizzelle drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 30-all at the half. Out of the intermission, the Owls scored the first 11 points to go up 41-30.
With a 56-point, second-half performance, Tulane defeated Texas-Pan American, 88-65, for the Green Wave’s eighth-straight win at Fogelman Arena (and a perfect 7-0 this season). The win marked Tulane’s best start to a season since also opening the 1999-00 season with a 10-3 record. It was head coach Ed Conroy’s 100th career win, with stints at The Citadel and Francis Marion.
SMU posted its seventh-straight home win and the Mustangs have won eight of their last nine games following an 82-49 victory over Dallas Christian on Saturday. Senior Papa Dia (St. Louis, Senegal) scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his 17th career double-double.
C-USA UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, January 3
East Carolina at North Carolina Central – 6:00p
Wednesday, January 5
Tennessee St. at (21) Memphis (SportSouth) – 2:00p
Marshall at St. Bonaventure – 3:00p
TCU at Rice – 3:00p
Sam Houston State at UTEP (TW Texas) – 3:00p
Texas-Pan American at Tulane – 5:00p