Greenville, NC (Sports Network) - Dwayne Davis scored 23 points to lead the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to an 86-82 overtime victory over the East Carolina Pirates in a Conference USA matchup at Minges Coliseum.
For the Golden Eagles (20-6, 9-2 C-USA), Neil Watson added 17 points and Jonathan Mills finished with 14 points, as both pulled down eight rebounds.
Akeem Richmond led the Pirates (14-10, 5-6) with 25 points, while Miguel Paul scored 22 points and Robert Sampson posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
ECU took a 35-31 lead into the break by knocking down 7-of-18 from beyond the 3- point arc while shooting 41.9 percent from the field overall in the half. USM connected on 50 percent of its field goal tries to start the contest but had trouble from the perimeter, missing all five of its 3-point tries.
In the second half, the Golden Eagles again shot 50 percent from the field. The Pirates connected on 47.8 percent and 5-of-13 from 3-point distance in the half. USM trailed for almost the entire half and was still down 10 with 4:37 to play in regulation, but finished the half on a 14-4 run. USM's Davis drained two free-throws with 28 second remaining to knot the score at 71-71 and a jumper by ECU at the buzzer was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra session, the teams traded leads before a jumper by Davis put the Golden Eagles up for good with 1:45 left in overtime. USM made 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute of overtime to seal the victory.
The Golden Eagles did most of their damage in the paint, outscoring the Pirates 54-18 down low. They also had a 40-30 rebounding advantage over ECU.