MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Courtney Beasley and Jeremy Wise scored 19 points apiece as Southern Mississippi defeated Central Florida 77-53 in the opening round of the Conference USA tournament on Wednesday.
R.L. Horton and Craig Craft also added 16 points apiece for the 11th-seeded Golden Eagles (15-16), who will face No. 3 seed UAB on Thursday. Craft had 11 rebounds and Beasley grabbed nine boards, leading Southern Mississippi to a 38-25 rebounding advantage.A.J. Tyler scored 16 points to lead the Knights (17-14), who were 5 of 28 from 3-point range.On the day he was named C-USA Player of the Year, Jermaine Taylor managed only 15 points, going 5-for-16 from the field for the Knights. The nation's third leading scorer at 26.6 points per game also went 1-for-8 from 3-point range.Taylor's 29.1 scoring average in C-USA games this season set a league record.