HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) -- Jonathan Mills scored 18 points to lead Southern Miss to a 78-74 win over Central Florida on Saturday night.
Mills, who went 12 of 13 from the foul line, scored nine straight points for the Golden Eagles (21-4, 8-2 Conference USA) during a pivotal 14-6 second-half run. The spurt helped Southern Miss recover from a 52-51 deficit after Central Florida took its first lead.
Central Florida (18-7, 7-4) pulled within two points with 47 seconds left, but the Golden Eagles made 10 of their 12 free throws in the final 1:27 to put the game out of reach.
LaShay Page scored15 points for Southern Miss. Neil Watson had 13 points and Torye Pelham chipped in with 11.
Central Florida's Isaiah Sykes led all scorers with 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting.
The Golden Eagles has at least preserved a tie for first place with Memphis with the win.