Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) - Led by 24 points from Neil Watson, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles took down the UAB Blazers, 79-75, in a Conference USA battle at Bartow Arena.
Jerrold Brooks and Michael Craig each added 16 points for the Golden Eagles (18-4, 7-0 C-USA), while Dwayne Davis chipped in with 10 points.
Five Blazers (9-13, 1-6) finished in double-figures, led by Jordan Swing with 17 points, followed by Quincy Taylor with 15, Robert Williams with 14 points, Fahro Alihodzic with 12 points and Preston Purifoy 10.
Southern Miss came out hot to start the game, connecting on 64 percent from the field, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range, as it went to halftime up 41-33. The Blazers struggled from the floor, making just 37.9 of their field goal tries and 6-of-16 from 3-point distance.
UAB hit on 52.2 percent of from the field and 6-of-13 from 3-point range. Southern Miss topped that, knocking down 63.3 percent from the field, including 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Though they trailed the entire half, the Blazers were able to get to within two points on several occasions, the last time coming with little over a minute to play at 74-72. The Golden Eagles followed that with four straight points and were able to hold on for the victory.
USM dominated UAB down low, outscoring the Blazers in the paint, 36-16, and outrebounding them 30-22.