By The Associated Press
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Neil Watson scored 17 points and Darnell Dodson’s 3-pointer put Southern Mississippi ahead to stay in an 81-78 victory over East Carolina in the Conference USA tournament quarterfinals Thursday.
Watson and Dodson scored 12 of the 13 points in overtime for the second-seeded Golden Eagles (25-7). Dodson’s trey made it 78-76 with 59 seconds left. He added a free throw and Watson made two on Southern Mississippi’s next two possessions to make it 81-76.
Robert Sampson’s layup brought the 10th-seeded Pirates (15-16) within three points. Watson’s two missed free throws with 6 seconds left gave them a chance to tie, but Paris Roberts-Campbell missed from long range.
Sampson’s 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in regulation forced the overtime. He finished with 15 points. Miguel Paul led the Pirates with 28 points and 12 assists, and Maurice Kemp scored 18.
Jonathan Mills scored 16 points and Dodson 13 for Southern Miss.