Watson has big day on his birthday
Published: Monday, February 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2013 23:02
Southern Miss swept the season series from UAB for the first time since 2007 behind the almost perfect day by point guard Neil Watson. Watson, who also turned 22 on Saturday, was a missed free throw away from a perfect shooting night for the Eagles who defeated the Blazers by a score of 79-75.
Watson shot 7-7 from the field including 6-6 from three point land and added 4-5 free throws for his season high of 24 points. Along with 16 points and 10 rebounds, including a Sportcenter Top-10 play, from forward Michael Craig, Southern Miss was able to survive several late runs by the Blazers for their 18th win of the season.
“Any win on the road is great,” said Southern Miss head coach Donnie Tyndall. “That was a battle. We could have crumbled but we just stayed the course. We made big shot after big shot. I’m very proud of my team.”
The second half was a one of runs. After UAB cut the USM lead to four with a 7-0 run, USM went on their own 7-0 run. Half way through the second half, UAB went on a 7-2 run to cut the Eagles’ lead down to five before slowly chipping away and whittling it down to two points with 1:49 left in the game.
Coming out of a time out, the two teams traded three-point baskets before guard Jerrold Brooks found Craig open for a layup to push the Eagles lead to four with 40 seconds left. A turnover and free throws iced the game for the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss finds itself at 18-4 on the season and 7-0 in C-USA play and has won the first two of three games on this midseason road stretch. The Eagles will put their 10 game winning streak on the line when they travel to UCF on Wednesday before returning home for a battle with the just-as-hot Memphis Tigers on Saturday.
Saturday’s game will test Southern Miss’ 23-game home winning streak. Students will need to pick up a wristband from the Student Eagles Club or the Ticket Office starting Wednesday in order to get into the Memphis game this weekend.