HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Willie Kemp made a pair of clutch free
throws with 5.2 seconds left to propel Memphis to a 59-57 win over
Southern Mississippi on Saturday night.
Southern Miss climbed back from a 41-26 halftime deficit to make
the game close, but a controversial foul in the waning moments sent
Kemp to the line to seal the win for the Tigers (11-4, 1-0
Conference USA), who shot 39 percent (19 of 48) for the game.
After Kemp's free throws, the Golden Eagles (9-6, 0-2) pushed
the ball to half court and called a 30-second timeout with four
seconds left. A screen was set up on the in-bounds play, but a
futile 3-point shot by Southern Miss' Gary Flowers did not leave
his hand in time as the final second ticked off the clock.
Elliot Williams led all scorers with 33 points, making 11 of 19
shots from the field and 8 of 12 from the 3-point line to lead
The win was the 62nd straight Conference USA victory for
Memphis, which hasn't lost a regular season or conference
tournament game since an 80-74 defeat to Alabama-Birmingham on
March 2, 2006.
Southern Miss dominated the game after the halftime break,
outscoring the Tigers 18-5 to start the second half. A layup by
Flowers at the 6:50 mark in the second half gave Southern Miss its
first lead of the night, 49-48.
But Williams sunk his eighth and final 3-pointer one minute
later, and the Tigers made 8 of 10 free throws to put the game
The Tigers made 16 field goals in the first half, but were only
2 of 14 in the second half (14.3 percent).
Maurice Bolden led Southern Miss with 13 points, R.L. Horton
added 12 and the Golden Eagle bench outscored Memphis' 18-7. The
loss was the Golden Eagles' ninth straight conference defeat, the
third worst streak in school history.