Southern Miss Opens Conference-USA Play Flying Past TCU 72-64

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) _ Jasper Johnson scored a season-high 22 points and Southern Mississippi used 19-2 run early in the second half to defeat TCU 72-64 on Wednesday.

Johnson had 18 points in the second half and Charles Gaines added 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (8-4, 1-0 Conference USA).

Junior Blount scored 21 points to lead the Horned Frogs (6-6,0-1), who were held to their lowest point total of the season.

The game was tied 31-31 less than 3 minutes into the second half when Southern Miss picked it up on defense and found its shooting touch from 3-point range.

The 5 minute spurt put the Golden Eagles up 50-33 with 12:23 left in the game. Southern Miss connected on four consecutive 3-point baskets during the run, three by Johnson.

Southern Miss opened the game with a 10-0 run. The Horned Frogs didn't hit a field goal until 14:14 of the first half.

But TCU finished the half with a 19-6 to tie the score at 25 at the half.

David Haywood had 13 points for Southern Miss.

Corey Santee scored 15 and Bingo Merriex added 14 for TCU.

Both teams shot 39 percent.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)