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Conference USA Notebook: WKU, FIU Earn Big Victories

Conference USA had a good showing over the weekend with several wins and a couple of would be upsets.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, Western Kentucky beat Ole Miss 81-74. The Hilltoppers used a 30-9 run to overcome a 45-32 halftime deficit. T.J. Price led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds while George Fant added 17 points and 9 rebounds. Western improved to 4-4 on the year and they get a shot at 4th ranked Louisville on Saturday. The game will be televised on FS1 at 11:00 A.M. CST.

Conference USA went 4-0 on Saturday, with Middle Tennessee beating Akron 62-61, FAU beat Central Florida 54-41, and Southern Miss beat Spring Hill 66-56.

MTSU was led by Reggie Upshaw Jr. with 17 points and 8 rebounds and Jacquez Rozier added 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks. The Blue Raiders improved to 5-4 with the win. MTSU travels to take on Oklahoma State on Tuesday night at 8:00 P.M. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Justin Raffington had 9 points and 9 rebounds for FAU and Jackson Trapp pumped in 15 points as the Owls knocked off UCF to improve to 4-3 on the year.

Rasham Suarez and Davon Hayes each had 16 points for USM in their win over Spring Hill. Matt Binyanga had 15 points and 9 rebounds. Southern Miss has a big showdown with Georgia State on Sunday. The Golden Eagles will be shorthanded going forward after two players were released from the program. Sophomore guard Shadell Millinhaus and junior guard Dallas Anglin both left the team; leaving Doc Sadler with just nine scholarship players.

Florida International came up with a big win on Sunday, knocking off Florida Gulf Coast 69-63. Dennis Mavin, the leading scorer in Conference USA led the way with 27 points. Davion Draper added 10 points and 8 rebounds and Marco Porcher Jimenez added 14 points. FIU heads up north this week to take on Hartford and Long Island.

Conference USA had two chances to make some major noise on Sunday as Louisiana Tech took on Syracuse and Marshall battled their in-state rival West Virginia.

Raheem Appleby and Alex Hamilton each had 20 points for LA Tech, but a last second shot by Rakeem Christmas gave Syracuse the win, 71-69. The Bulldogs have one more chance to get a big non-conference win as they head to North Carolina State on December 23rd.

Justin Edmonds had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists for Marshall and Ryan Taylor added 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. The game was tied at 60 with 2:43 remaining, but West Virginia made 7 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

Marshall had a four point loss to Penn State last week, but Head Coach Dan D'Antoni is tired of the moral victories. The Thundering Herd have two chances for nice out of conference wins coming up as they travel to both Arkansas State and Nevada in the next week.

Conference USA hosted a couple of teams from North Carolina on Sunday and came away with two victories. Old Dominion blew out North Carolina A&T as four Monarch players finished in double figures. Aaron Bacote had 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists for ODU.

ODU has won four in a row and they have a huge opportunity to move up in RPI as they host Georgia State on Wednesday.

Robert Brown had 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists as UAB knocked of UNC Asheville. UAB hosts LSU on Thursday in a game that will be televised on CBS Sports at 8:00 P.M.

Jordan Williams had 15 points for North Texas but it wasn't enough as the Mean Green fell to Stephen F. Austin 59-48. UNT (4-4) hosts Creighton on Sunday afternoon.

Dennis Mavin of FIU leads the conference in scoring with 17.4 points per game. Trey Freeman for ODU is next with 16.6 and Ryan Bowie of UTSA and Raheem Appleby of LA Tech are both tied for 3rd with 15.9 points per game. Alex Hamilton of LA Tech and Matt Binyanga are tied for 5th with 15.8 points per game, followed closely by T.J. Price of WKU with 15.6. UTSA has two players scoring over 15 points per game as Jermoie Hill averages 15.4 and Keon Lewis is at 15.3 a game. UTEP's Vince Hunter averages 15 points per game.

Vince Hunter leads Conference USA in rebounding at 10.5 for game, while Mike Thorne Jr. of Charlotte pulls down 8.8 boards per game. Ryan Taylor of Marshall is at 8.4 rebounds per game.

Speedy Smith leads the league in assists with 7.2, he had 9 against Syracuse. Pierria Henry of Charlotte is 2nd with 5.38 per game.

Alex Hamilton of LA Tech leads the league in steals with 1.9, followed closely by Nick Norton of UAB with 1.89, and Pierria Henry of Charlotte with 1.88 per game.

Keshawn Woods of Charlotte leads the league in 3 pt % at 56.5% and Justin Massey of FAU is next with 55.6% from deep.

Michale Kyser of LA Tech leads the league with 3.8 blocks per game. Kelvin Penn of FAU is next with 2.71 and Adrian Diaz of FIU is 3rd with 2.1 blocks per game.

According to RealTImeRPI.com, Old Domion is 14th in the country, followed by UTEP at 29 and Charlotte at 31.

According to Ken Pomeroy, LA Tech is at 70, UTEp is at 73, and ODU is at 79.

Massey has ODU at 71, UTEP at 87, LA Tech at 97, and Charlotte at 106.