HATTIESBURG, Miss. – R.L. Horton scored 18 points, D.J. Newbill added 17 and Southern Mississippi beat No. 23 Central Florida 86-69 on Saturday.
Gary Flowers and Maurice Bolden each had 16 points for the Golden Eagles (14-3, 3-1 Conference USA), who used a 21-2 run midway through the second half to turn a four-point deficit into a 68-53 lead.
Horton was terrific during the decisive stretch, hitting a 3-pointer, completing a conventional three-point play and throwing a perfect alley-oop pass for a thunderous dunk by Flowers.
UCF (14-2, 1-2) has lost two in a row after starting the season on a school-record 14-game winning streak. The Knights, who earned the first national ranking in program history on Dec. 20, will likely fall out of the polls.
Marcus Jordan, the son of NBA great Michael Jordan, scored 15 first-half points and finished with a team-high 20 for UCF. He went 7 of 17 from the field, but only 2 of 8 in the second half.
The win is one of the biggest for Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy during his seven-year tenure. The Golden Eagles hadn't beaten a ranked team since 2004 and hadn't done so at Reed Green Coliseum since 1986.
After the game, several USM players jumped into the stands and celebrated with the student section.
Though Southern Miss had balanced scoring, Horton stuck out with his overall game. He shot 6 of 11 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. He also made four of five free throws and had six rebounds and five assists.
The Golden Eagles outrebounded UCF 37-28 and shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 62.1 percent in the second half.
UCF made 11 of 26 (42.3 percent) shots from 3-point range, but couldn't overcome the big Southern Miss rally in the second half. The Knights also committed 16 turnovers.
Keith Clanton added 14 points and seven rebounds for UCF.