Southern Miss advances to C-USA tournament semis

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Aaron Brown scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half and Michael Craig added 12 as Southern Miss advanced to the Conference USA tournament semifinals with a 64-56 victory over UTEP on Thursday night.

Craig also grabbed 12 rebounds and the No. 4 seeded Golden Eagles (27-5) out-rebounded UTEP 45-28, including 20-7 in the offensive-rebounding category.

Southern Miss opened with a 10-4 run capped by back-to-back dunks by Craig, but No. 5 seeded UTEP pulled ahead 24-22 on free throws by Jake Flaggert. Southern Miss led 28-24 at halftime after consecutive layups by Chip Armelin. Neither team hit a 3-pointer in the half on nine attempts each.

Southern Miss used second-half runs of 11-3 and 9-2 to lead 51-37. UTEP rallied with an 8-0 run to close to 51-48, but got no closer.

Julian Washburn led the Miners (23-10) with 16 points and Vince Hunter added 14.

The Golden Eagles will face the winner of No. 1 Louisiana Tech and No. 9 Charlotte.

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