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Golden Eagle Fans Make the Difference

Jan. 27, 2011

I want to thank our Golden Eagle fans for their great turnout for our last two home basketball games against UCF and Memphis.  You made the difference in our win over nationally ranked UCF and your cheering gave our team the energy to help us fight back against Memphis to almost win the game.

Our crowd on Sunday enabled our women's basketball team to beat East Carolina in overtime. The energy our student-athletes get from our fans is unbelievable and that is why it is so important for you to be there.

This week I traveled to East Carolina with our men's basketball team. What a great win! It's difficult to understand what it takes to win on the road in C-USA and what our team goes through to gain a victory.

East Carolina was coming off of two tremendous road wins, one at UCF and one at Marshall, just after they upset nationally ranked West Virginia in Charleston. Our team left campus Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., after practicing from 7 to 8. We flew out of Gulfport and, after connecting through Charlotte, we got to Greenville, N.C. around 6 p.m. The team then went to practice for two hours before returning to the hotel for dinner at 9 p.m. On Wednesday, the team held an hour shoot-around between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., and met to review video before the game later on in the evening.

That hard work paid off and you would have been very proud of your Golden Eagle basketball team as they fought through adversity. Over 4,700 Pirate fans attended the game and about half were students. They stayed on our team all-night long and the noise was deafening. Our guys just hung in there and fought hard, made baskets when we needed them as well as their free throws. East Carolina shot over 50 percent from the field and nearly 80 percent from the free throw line; however, in their specialty of 3-point field goals, they were only 6-of-20. While we had a similar shooting performance, we hit six of 11 3's and out rebounded ECU 30-to-22. Our bench outscored them 34-to-18 and we got 11-second chance points to their two. Although their crowd kept them in the game at the end, it was truly a quality win for Southern Miss and moved us to 15-5 and 4-3 in C-USA action.

This Saturday afternoon we host Tulane at Reed Green for a 4 p.m., game. We need you there. Tulane has been somewhat of a surprise with a 12-7 mark and 2-4 in C-USA play. They are coming off a four-point loss at league-leading UTEP, 69-65, on Wednesday night. We need to continue the 6th man atmosphere in Reed Green. We have some great home games coming up and our fans can certainly make the difference as we strive for postseason play.

Also, don't forget that we will have our final poster giveaway against the Green Wave, featuring R.L. Horton and Torye Pelham. It will also be a night of musical entertaining as the Spirit of Southern as well as Abby Wade, who is a Forrest General Spirit Girl, will be performing.

Be there and be Loud and Proud.

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