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USF, tournament hopes take pounding

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 3, 2002


HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- South Florida's hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid received a potentially devastating blow Saturday.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- South Florida's hopes for an NCAA Tournament bid received a potentially devastating blow Saturday.

Elvin Mims scored a career-high 35 in his final collegiate game as Southern Mississippi reached a season high in points and defeated the Bulls 92-75 Saturday.

Altron Jackson led South Florida with 17 points and Reggie Kohn had 12.

Pete Meneses, also playing his final game, scored a career-high 20, shooting 6-for-8 from 3-point range, for the Golden Eagles. Southern Miss finished a poor season by winning three of four.

The Golden Eagles shot 63 percent. They opened up a 23-point lead on the strength of a 16-2 spurt to end the first half and a 22-10 run to start the second half.

But it was Mims who dominated on Senior Day. The 6-foot-5 forward was 15-for-21 from the field, had 14 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks.

The Bulls had trimmed the Golden Eagles lead to 12 with about nine minutes left when Southern Miss scored six straight, all on dunks.

Mims followed a miss by Dante Stiggers with a slam. Then South Florida committed two straight turnovers, and Clement Carter and Mims finished fastbreaks with dunks to make the score 76-58 with 7:40 left.

Brad Richardson, another senior, had a career-high 11 assists for Southern Miss.

The Bulls play in the Conference USA tournament this week. Southern Miss did not qualify.

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