Pitts leads Marshall past Southern Miss 73-62

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Damier Pitts scored 24 points, including 16 in the second half, as Marshall defeated Southern Mississippi 73-62 in the Conference USA semifinals Friday.

Pitts made 7 of 12 shots, including 4 of 6 outside the arc, for sixth-seeded Marshall (21-12), which will play Saturday in its first conference tournament final since the 1997 Southern Conference championship game. The Thundering Herd, which beat Tulsa 105-100 in three overtimes Thursday, will face top-seeded Memphis, an 83-52 winner over Central Florida.

DeAndre Kane added 14 points for Marshall, and Dennis Tinnon had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Southern Mississippi (25-8), the second seed, was led by Angelo Johnson's 24 points. Darnell Dodson added 13.

Marshall shot 54.3 percent (25 of 46), including 9 of 17 (52.9 percent) on 3-pointers. That offset 16 Thundering Herd turnovers, compared to three by the Golden Eagles, who shot 34.2 percent (25 of 73).