HATTIESBURG, MS. - Southern Miss won their 22nd game of the season with a convincing 88-69 victory over East Carolina in Reed Green Coliseum.
Travis Watson went a perfect 7 for 7 from the arc and scored 28 points to lead the Golden Eagles, against a soft Pirate defense in Hattiesburg. Dwayne Davis added 17, Jonathan Mills had 15 points and 17 rebounds while Daveon Bordingham scored 11 in the contest.
Maurice Kemp scored 23 points to lead ECU(16-11) in scoring. Akeem Richmond had 15 while Miguel Paul scored 13 points and dished out 8 assists in a losing effort.
Southern Miss got off to a fast 9-4 lead before a Akeem Richmond trey tied the game at 9-9.
ECU took their first lead of the game, 25-24 on a Miguel Paul
baseline jumper before Paris Roberts-Campbell trey gave ECU a four point lead.
Daveon Bordingham tied the game at 28 apiece inside of three minutes remaining in the first half and Neil Watson's wide open trey on the last possession gave USM a five point 36-31 lead at intermission on Watson's eleventh point of the half.
ECU's Maurice Kemp scored 15 points to lead the Pirates in the first half on 5 of 7 shooting and 5 for 5 from the free throw line. The Golden Eagles dominated the glass in the first half, 23-9 and connected on five treys of their own.
Southern Miss(22-7) picked up where they left off when a Bordingham dunk and three-point play on the next possession along with a Watson trey gave the Eagles a 46-35 lead in the first five minutes of the second period and they never looked back.
Jon Mills scored on a layup to give USM a commanding 67-49 lead with eight minutes to go. His two free throws after fouling Ty Armstrong out gave USM their biggest lead of the game 73-54 with 6:30 to go.
Watson's sixth three-point jumper in a row gave him 23 points and pushed the Golden Eagles out to a 76-56 lead. Mills added a trey for a twenty point lead. Davis' basket in the lane made it 80-60.
Watson's seventh trey made it 83-60 with four minutes to play. Dwayne Davis' trey was USM's 13th of the game for a 86-63 lead at the three minute mark.
Richmond connected on a three-point play on a drive in the lane and a trey from outside late in the game but it wasn't enough as the Pirates end a two-game win streak and lose their eleventh game of the season.
Southern Miss controlled the glass for the second time this year against the Pirates, 39-20.