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Southern Miss - Louisville Game Notes
Eagles Open C-USA Schedule, At Louisville
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss opens Conference USA action against longtime rival Louisville, Wednesday at storied Freedom Hall, in Louisville, Ky. The game is scheduled for a 6:38 p.m., CT, start, and will be the first of 16-straight league games, as well as the first game of an eight-game stretch that will see the Golden Eagles play six of those games on the road.
The Eagles and Cardinals have a history that dates to 1953, to an 86-72 Louisville victory in a game played in the Jefferson County Armory. Lee Floyd was the Southern Miss coach at the time.
Louisville leads the series 28-11, and won last year's game, in Hattiesburg, 94-65. The series between the two has been played in a variety of locations, including, in addition to the Jefferson County Armory, Freedom Hall, Green Coliseum, the Roanoke Coliseum and the Coast Coliseum. The Eagles own a 9-8 edge in games played in Green Coliseum, and have won three of 19 games in Louisville.
The Cardinals lost their opener, 70-69, to Iowa, and since have won nine straight, including victories at Kentucky and against Florida. Three Louisville players average double figure points, led by Francisco Garcia, at 16.2 points a game. Luke Whitehead follows at 15.7 and Taquan Dean is at 12.4. Rick Pitino's team is averaging 80.6 points a game, and giving up only 60.9 a game. The Cardinals own victories over then-No. 1 ranked Florida, 73-65, as well as over then-No. 2 ranked Kentucky, 65-56.
Southern Miss goes into the game off a 61-59 win over UNO, on a last-second shot by Jasper Johnson. The Eagles now are 7-4, and currently have three players averaging double-figure points. That group is led by Charles Gaines, at 16.7 points a game. Jasper Johnson follows at 13.5 and Clement Carter is at 11.5. Gaines also continues to lead the Golden Eagles in rebounding, at 10.5 boards a game.
The Golden Eagles continue to outscore their combined opposition, but only by the slimmest of margins, 70.7-to-70.2. The Southern Miss rebounding edge is larger, 36.3-to-32.8, and Head Coach James Green's team continues to shoot the ball well, currently at a .463 (288-622) pace. That includes the second-best three-point shooting percentage in the league, .395. That's just behind Louisville (.397). The two teams also are one-two in the three-point field goal defense category, Southern Miss at .299, Louisville at .298.
Following the Louisville trip, the Eagles host Memphis in a 4 p.m., Saturday game that will televised on ESPN. Then, it's back on the road for games at Saint Louis (Jan. 13) and against Marquette (Jan. 16), with that game scheduled for Green Bay, Wis.