FRISCO, Texas (AP) Jon Elmore scored 26 points and drained a timely 3-pointer after a seemingly comfortable lead disappeared to hold off Southern Miss 85-75 in the Conference USA semifinals on Friday and advance to the championship game for the second-straight year.
Marshall (23-10), the No. 4 seed, will meet third-seeded Western Kentucky (24-9) in Saturday's championship game.
Ninth-seeded Southern Miss (16-18), which toppled two-time defending champion and No. 1-seeded Middle Tennessee, 71-68, in overtime in the quarterfinals, put a scare into Marshall. The Golden Eagles steadily whittled a 24-point gap down to six, 71-65, with three minutes left. Marshall had gone without a field goal for the better part of six minutes and SMU was on an 11-0 run.