Jan. 4, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss looks for its first men's basketball road victory of the season, Saturday (Jan. 6), when they travel to Savannah State for a 3 p.m. CT contest at Tiger Arena.
The Golden Eagles (10-2) have won all 10 of their games this season in Reed Green Coliseum, while dropping their lone two games away from home. Southern Miss has lost to Alabama, 77-64, at a neutral site in Mobile and at Bradley, 83-73.
Against Savannah State, Southern Miss looks to snap a three-game losing streak away from its home facility, as well as end a 14-game regular-season losing skein in games played away from Hattiesburg. The last Golden Eagle victory away from Green Coliseum came in the opening round of the 2006 C-USA Championship with a 66-61 triumph over Tulsa. Southern Miss last won away from its home facility during the regular season in last season's 79-75 season-opening victory over Lamar at the BP Top of the World Classic, in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Freshman Jeremy Wise (Jackson, Miss.) will lead the Golden Eagles in their final non-conference matchup of the campaign. Wise, who is averaging 16.5 points per contest, ranks fifth in Conference USA for points per game. Wise also holds second in the league in free throw percentage (87.8 percent).
In addition, Wise ranks No. 27 in this week's national statistics in free throw percentage, through games of Jan. 1, while Gjio Bain (Nassau, Bahamas) is listed at No. 80 in blocks per game and DeWayne Green (Saginaw, Mich.) is 94th in steals per game.
As a team, the Golden Eagles rank No. 2 in rebounding margin at plus-11.3 per game. Through the first four ranking periods, Southern Miss has not been lower than No. 3 nationally in this statistical category, including a No. 1 ranking the first two weeks of the listings.
Sophomore Courtney Beasley (Huntsville, Ala.), who was the star in the Golden Eagles' victory over Auburn Tuesday with a game-winning 15-footer with three seconds left, ranks second on the club in scoring at 10.0 points per game. Beasley scored a career-best 23 points against Savannah State in the first meeting this season, in which the Golden Eagles tallied a 61-45 victory. Beasley hit two straight buckets midway through the second half to trigger an 8-0 run, to help quell a Tiger rally and the visitors did not get any closer than six points the remainder of the contest.
The Golden Eagles now play a team that has three straight losses and dropped 13 of the last 14 games after capturing wins in their first five tilts.
The Tigers (6-13) are led by Javon Randolph, who leads the club in scoring at 14.4 points per game. Randolph, though, has missed the last two games at Marquette and Nebraska due to a knee injury and his status is unknown for the contest Saturday.
Joseph Flegler is next in the scoring column for the Tigers with an average of 9.8 points, while Joshua Obiajunwa is at 9.5 points, as well as a team-best 7.8 rebounds a game.
The Golden Eagles continue their road swing Wednesday when they travel to Dallas to face SMU in their Conference USA opener. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Moody Coliseum.
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