In a match-up between C-USA preseason favorites, defending tournament champion Middle Tennessee earned a 60-49 win over defending regular-season champ UAB in one of three C-USA New Year’s Day match-ups.
Senior Reggie Upshaw led the Blue Raiders with a career-high 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds, as well as being a key to a strong defensive effort. Louisiana Tech picked up 79-55 road victory in its conference opener at Southern Miss, while UTSA stayed perfect on its home court this season following a 67-55 win over UTEP.
Eight C-USA teams are back in action Monday after opening conference play on Dec. 31.
at Middle Tennessee 60, UAB 49
Louisiana Tech 79, at Southern Miss 55
at UTSA 67, UTEP 55
Middle Tennessee 60, UAB 49
Middle Tennessee senior Reggie Upshaw (Chattanooga, Tenn.) poured in a career-high 34 points as the Blue Raiders knocked off UAB, 60-49, in the conference opener for both teams. Upshaw nailed four three-pointers and went 8-of-11 at the free throw line on the evening to become just the 13th player in C-USA history to score 1,250 career points and 750 rebounds.
MT improved to 11-3 overall on the season by limiting the Blazers to its lowest point production since Nov. 2014. The Blue Raiders, who claimed the 2016 C-USA championship title, ranked second in the C-USA preseason poll behind defending regular-season champ UAB. Senior Tosin Mehinti (Lithonia, Ga.) led the Blazers with 11 points off the bench.
- Quotable: "We talked about staying connected and playing for each other, and I thought tonight we did. I thought we took them (UAB) out of rhythm and went real fundamental tonight. It was our best defensive effort." – Middle Tennessee head coach Kermit Davis
- Quotable: "I came in earlier before shoot around started and got some shots on my own. I guess that's where it came from. It was all about the rhythm. It started on the defensive end once I got that first defensive rebound, and it trickled over to the offensive end. It was a team effort tonight. It's always great to start 1-0 in the league." – Middle Tennessee senior forward Reggie Upshaw on his offensive performance
Louisiana Tech 79, Southern Miss 55
Senior F Erik McCree (Orlando, Fla.) registered his conference-best seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in a 79-55 road win at Southern Miss. Junior Jacobi Boykins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and sophomore G Derric Jean (Miami, Fla.) tossed in 18 points apiece. It was the Bulldogs’ first true road win of the season. Quinton Campbell (Wilmer, Ala.) paced Southern Miss with 16 points, while sophomore Cortez Edwards (Kissimmee, Fla.) was credited with a career-best seven assists.
- Quotable: "I thought both teams played hard. From a defensive standpoint we were happy (in the first half). From an offensive standpoint we had so many shots at the rim and so many shots that rimmed out …Give Southern Miss credit. They changed up defenses…We made some adjustments at halftime, got our composure in locker room and came out in second half ready to go.” – LA Tech head coach Erik Konkol
UTSA 67, UTEP 55
UTSA used a 12-2 second half run to pull away and extend its home winning streak to seven games (6-0 this season) with a 67-55 victory over UTEP. Senior Nick Billingsley (Omaha, Neb.) came off the bench to score 17 points for the Roadrunners, who have won four of their last five and surpassed last season’s win total.
Billingsley made a pair of 3-pointers and was a perfect 9-for-9 at the free-throw line. Classmate Lucas O’Brien (Chandler, Ariz.) joined him in double figures with a season-high 13 points, while junior Gino Littles (Phoenix, Ariz.) added 11. The Roadrunners also held their fourth opponent to fewer than 60 points, after doing so just once all of last season. UTEP senior Dominic Artis (San Francisco, Calif.) paced the Miners with a game-high 18 points
C-USA UPCOMING SCHEDULE
(All times Central)
Mon., January 2
North Texas at Old Dominion (CUSA.tv) - 4:00p
Rice at Charlotte (ESPN3) - 6:00p
WKU at FIU (FCS) - 6:00p
Marshall at Florida Atlantic (CUSA.tv) - 6:00p
Thu., January 5
Old Dominion at Marshall (CUSA.tv) - 6:00p
UTEP at Louisiana Tech (Campus Insiders) - 6:30p
Charlotte at WKU (FCS) - 7:00p
Middle Tennessee at Rice (beIN) - 7:00p
UTSA at Southern Miss (CUSA.tv) - 7:00p
UAB at North Texas (CUSA.tv) - 7:00p
Sat., January 7
FIU at Florida Atlantic (ASN) - 1:00p
Middle Tennessee at North Texas (CUSA.tv) - 2:00p
UTEP at Southern Miss (CUSA.tv) - 4:00p
Old Dominion at WKU (ASN) - 5:00p
Charlotte at Marshall (CUSA.tv) - 6:00p
UTSA at Louisiana Tech (CUSA.tv) - 6:00p
UAB at Rice (CUSA.tv) - 7:00p
Conference games in BOLD.
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2016-17 C-USA Men's Basketball Fact Book
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