It was an exciting night in C-USA with four conference games decided by four points or less. Marshall and WKU improved to 3-0 and remained undefeated at home with wins over Old Dominion and Charlotte, respectively. Middle Tennessee moved to 2-0 with a key victory on the road at Rice. The Blue Raider trio of Reggie Upshaw, JaCorey Williams and Giddy Potts combined for 56 points.
Despite the loss, Rice junior Egor Koulechov registered his 11th double-double as an Owl with 31 points and 14 boards. Louisiana Tech is also 2-0 in C-USA following a 64-44 victory over UTEP. Southern Miss and UAB also picked up their first league wins of the young season.
at Marshall 90, Old Dominion 86 (OT)
at WKU 82, Charlotte 80
Middle Tennessee 80, at Rice 77
UAB 54, at North Texas 52
at Louisiana Tech 64, UTEP 44
at Southern Miss 77, UTSA 59
MARSHALL 90, OLD DOMINION 86 (OT)
Marshall fell behind 14-0 to start Thursday’s game and was down by four (32-28) at the half, but the Herd improved to 3-0 in conference play and 8-0 at home with a 90-86 overtime win against Old Dominion. Marshall, who is averaging 88.6 ppg, became the first ODU opponent in 179 games (since Dec. 2011) to score 90 points on them. The Monarchs entered the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense (56.4 ppg). MU senior
Jon Elmore (Charleston, W.Va.) led his team with 26 points, while Ajdin Penava (Bosnia and Herzgovina) hit the game-winning layup with 12 seconds to play in the overtime period. Senior Ryan Taylor (Indianapolis) registered his 32nd career double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds. ODU sophomore G Ahmad Caver (Atlanta, Ga.) also scored a game-high 26 points, including a layup at the buzzer in regulation to send the game into OT.
- Quotable: "They’re tough little nuts. They’re all competitors; they’re all little gym rats. That’s the kind of kids we want. They’ve earned the respect of this city and state. I just think they’ve earned, by their work, the respect of people.” – Marshall head coach Dan D’Antoni on his team .
WKU 82, CHARLOTTE 80
WKU won its fifth game in a row as Que Johnson (Pontiac, Mich.) hit the go-ahead jumper with 25 seconds to play and Pancake Thomas (Baton Rouge, La.) drained a pair of free throws with just five ticks on the clock to edge visiting Charlotte, 82-80. Johnson and Thomas finished with a team-best 14 points apiece.
Charlotte sophomore Andrien White (Richmond, Va.) led the 49ers with 20 points on the night.
- Quotable: "I’d say four weeks ago, we would’ve been dead in the water. We would’ve been beat. … But our guys are finding ways. We’re staying together. We’ve got different guys making plays. You guys know this, nothing is easy with us. We’re not a really smooth operating team offensively, but I was proud of 18 assists and 10 turnovers.”– WKU head coach Rick Stansbury on his team once again overcoming a late deficit to win.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE 80, RICE 77
With an 80-77 road win over a tough Rice team, Middle Tennessee improved to 2-0 in conference play and 12-3 on the season. MT senior and reigning C-USA Player of the Week Reggie Upshaw (Chattanooga, Tenn.) tossed in 18 of his team-high 20 points in the second half for the Blue Raiders. Upshaw and teammates JaCorey Williams (Birmingham, Ala.) and Giddy Potts (Athens, Ala.) combined for 56 points in the game.
Rice redshirt junior Egor Koulechov (Volgograd, Russia) recorded his 11th double-double as an Owl with 31 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. Sophomore Marcus Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) chipped in 23 points.
- Quotable: "The first 12 or 13 minutes of the second half were about as good as we can play. We ended up with 21 assists on 30 baskets tonight and then were able to get into our 13 [defense] and put some pressure on them." – Middle Tennessee head coach Kermit Davis
UAB 54, NORTH TEXAS 52
Junior William Lee (Plantersville, Ala.) contributed 19 points, including a three-point play in the final seconds to lift the Blazers to a 54-52 road win at North Texas. Lee also added five blocks and four rebounds.
LOUISIANA TECH 64, UTEP 44
Senior Erik McCree (Orlando, Fla.) registered his conference-best eighth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds to lead LA Tech to a 64-44 decision over UTEP. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 2-0 in conference play.
The 44 points were the fewest allowed to a Conference USA opponent in the Coach Eric Konkol era. Jacobi Boykins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) also joined McCree in double-digits with 14 points and seven rebounds. The junior has grabbed seven or more rebounds in three consecutive games after having not accomplished the feat in the first 12 games of the season. He also added three steals to his season total 30.
- Quotable: "[McCree] gives you an opportunity to score in so many different ways. He can make the three-point shot and we rolled him into the post and he scored there. He is our senior leader and he is delivering for us in both points and rebounds. He is providing a lot of energy and we certainly want him to continue to do that." – LA Tech head coach Eric Konkol on Erik McCree .
SOUTHERN MISS 77, UTSA 59
Southern Miss sophomore Cortez Edwards (Kissimmee, Fla.) recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 13 boards in a 77-59 win over UTSA. Seniors Khari Price (Slidell, La.) and Quinton Campbell (Wilmer, Ala.) added 20 points apiece to help the Golden Eagles snap a nine-game losing skid.
UTSA freshman Giovanni De Nicolao (Padova, Italy) drained four three-pointers and finished with a career-best 19 points in the game.
C-USA UPCOMING SCHEDULE
(All times Central)
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
Thursday, January 12
Louisiana Tech at Charlotte (ESPN3) - 6:00p
Southern Miss at Old Dominion (CUSA.tv) - 6:00p
Florida Atlantic at UTSA (CUSA.tv) - 7:00p
Marshall at Middle Tennessee (beIN) - 7:00p
WKU at UAB (Campus Insiders) - 7:00p
FIU at UTEP (CUSA.tv) - 8:00p
Saturday, January 14
Marshall at UAB (CUSA.tv) - 1:00p
North Texas at Rice (CUSA.tv) - 2:00p
FIU at UTSA (CUSA.tv) - 3:00p
Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion (ASN) - 3:00p
WKU at Middle Tennessee (ASN) - 5:00p
Southern Miss at Charlotte (Campus Insiders) - 6:00p
Florida Atlantic at UTEP (CUSA.tv) - 8:00p
Conference games in BOLD.
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2016-17 C-USA Men's Basketball Fact Book
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