The Golden Eagles are rolling at the right time.
Southern Miss had won six of its past seven games through Feb. 20. Included in the run were wins against the league's top two teams, at UAB and at home against UTEP.
Golden Eagles coach Larry Eustachy was most pleased with the win against a mediocre East Carolina team.
"We played great all game long," Eustachy said. "There were moments in the second half where we got tired, but we played great in the second half. (ECU) is just really good. … I just see individuals getting better in areas they've been deficient in."
Added Golden Eagles guard Angelo Johnson: "I think Southern Miss has made a tremendous jump from last year to this year."
• Gary Flowers' performance against East Carolina on Feb. 19 had people talking that he could be the Conference USA Player of the Year. Flowers scored a career-high 32 points while adding 11 rebounds and committing no fouls.
When asked about the possibility of winning the top individual honor, Flowers had these comments: "It's a thought, but I'm still striving. I've got to put it in the back of my mind and keep working."
• Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy guided the Golden Eagles to their 20th win of the season this year. With the win against East Carolina, he became just the third coach in school history to have three seasons of at least 20 wins apiece.
By The Numbers: 26-Size of the point swing in the Golden Eagles' game against UTEP. Southern Miss trailed by 13 early in the second half, then won by 13.
Quote To Note: "This was a game that I circled before we played Memphis. I asked that guys that after playing Memphis and UTEP, 'Do we have to character to play a very, very good team that we had already beaten?' And we proved that we did. This is the most pleased that I've been with our team all year."-Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy, on his team's win over East Carolina.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
• vs. Loyola (New Orleans), Feb. 22
Key Matchups: The Golden Eagles take a break from Conference USA play to host a regional NAIA school. Loyola hasn't beaten a Division I school this season, and that shouldn't change in this game.
• at UCF, Feb. 26
Key Matchups: The Knights had very few answers for the Golden Eagles last time these teams played, as four Southern Miss players scored at least 16 points. Guard Devonta Newbill had 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Futures Market: The Golden Eagles had won six of seven games through Feb. 20, and they had a good chance to keep that momentum going into the postseason. Southern Miss' toughest upcoming game is against UAB, and that one's at home.
• Junior G Angelo Johnson scored five points against East Carolina on Feb. 19, his lowest scoring output since early January.
• Junior G Maurice Bolden was held scoreless for the first time since December in the Feb. 16 game against UTEP.