Jan. 15, 2002
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Brandon Brown scored 20 points as Tulane University held off a second-half rally by Southern Miss to defeat the Golden Eagles, 70-61, in Conference USA men's basketball action on Tuesday evening at Green Coliseum.
The win improves the Green Wave to 10-5 overall and evens the Wave's Conference USA record at 2-2. Southern Miss drops to 6-8 and 1-3 in league play.
"This is definitely a good win for us," Finney said. "We had been feeling kind of sick, losing four out of five. To go on the road and win a game like this shows the mental toughness of our team."
"Brandon Brown is our rock right now," Finney added. "He is a big force for us."
Tulane held a 49-35 lead with 10:10 to go in the game, but Southern Miss' Elvin Mims came to life. The Golden Eagles' leading scorer collected 10 points to key a 17-8 Eagle run which cut the Tulane lead to five at 57-52 with 2:47 remaining.
However, the Wave settled down as Brandon Spann connected on a pair of free throws to stop the run. After Southern Miss missed the front end of a one-and-one, Brandon Brown snagged the rebound and was fouled by Mims, the fifth of the game for the big man. Brown, who scored 20 points for the second game in a row, connected on both free throws and it was 61-52 with 1:34 remaining.
Waitari Marsh would connect on four-of-five free throws down the stretch, and Brown and Marsh both scored on fast-break layups to put the game away.
In addition to Brown's 20 points, Marsh had 11 and Spann had 10.
Tulane shot 56.1 percent (23-of-41) against the normally-stingy Golden Eagles defense. Meanwhile, Tulane held Southern Miss to just 34.0 percent (17-of-50) from the field. Tulane also held a 29-27 edge on the boards.
"We played tremendous half-court defense," Brown said. "And we worked the press real well."
"We knew we had to come out and guard," Spann added. "We had not been playing with the right amount of intensity in the halfcourt in our losses."
Following today's game, the Wave travels to Fort Worth for its first C-USA meeting with league newcomer TCU on Saturday at 11 a.m. That game will be televised as part of the league's ESPN+ package. Tulane returns home on Wednesday, Jan. 23, hosting South Florida at Fogelman Arena.
Tickets for all Tulane home events are available by calling 504-861-WAVE, or by visiting the Green Wave box office at the Wilson Center.