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Southern Miss Opens Conference USA Play at Rice

Dwayne Davis

Jan. 8, 2013

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will open up its Conference USA schedule this Wednesday, Jan. 9, when it travels to Houston, Texas to face Rice. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

The Last Meeting
Southern Miss58
February 25, 2012
Hattiesburg, Miss.
Larry Eustachy Earns 400th Career Win as Southern Miss defeats Rice, 58-56

Jonathan Mills connected on two free throws with 0.6 seconds left to give Southern Miss a 58-56 victory and hand head coach Larry Eustachy his 400th career victory, Saturday night at Reed Green Coliseum.

Southern Miss is entering its 18th season in Conference USA. In conference openers, the Golden Eagles are 10-7. When opening the conference season on the road, Southern Miss is 3-5. In road openers, they are 6-11. The Golden Eagles are looking for their third straight conference opening victory.

Southern Miss and Rice will meet for just the 11th time in a series that dates back to 1975. The Golden Eagles hold a 6-4 record, but are just 1-3 in Houston. Southern Miss has won the last three meetings and five of the last six.

Southern Miss comes into today's game with an 11-4 record. The Golden Eagles have won five of their last six games after defeating Dillard, 134-41, Thursday night in their non-conference finale.

Junior forward Daveon Boardingham and junior guard Cedric Jenkins led the Black and Gold with 22 points apiece, which was a career-high for both players. Senior guard Dwayne Davis had 17 points and junior forward Michael Craig had 14. Freshman forward Norville Carey recorded his first career double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Senior forward Jonathan Mills added 13 points and nine boards.

Junior guard Neil Watson scored just eight points, but set a new school record with 17 assists, which is also the second most in Conference USA history.

Davis is leading the team with 13.3 points while pulling down 4.3 rebounds. He is also sixth in Conference USA in free throw percentage, connecting on 84.8-pecent from the charity stripe. Craig is adding 10.1 points and 5.7 rebounds. He is also connecting on 56.7-percent from the floor, which is third in the league and is second with 1.9 steals. Junior guard Jerrold Brooks is third on the team with 9.9 points. Mills is scoring 9.5 points and grabbing a team-high 6.9 boards a game. Watson is averaging 8.9 points and is leading Conference USA in both assists (5.2) and steals (1.9).

Southern Miss is scoring 73.0 points per game but allowing just 57.9 which is second Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are shooting 47.6-percent from the floor and allowing its opponents to just 38.7-percent, which is third and second in the league, respectively. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 36.7-percent from three-point range, which is third in C-USA and also lead the league by allowing just 29.5% from the same distance. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.1-to-28.7. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league and are second in the country in steals with 12.3.

Head coach Donnie Tyndall is in his first season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. Tyndall is 11-4 (.733) as head coach of the Golden Eagles. He has compiled a 125-89 (.584) record in seven years as a head coach.

Rice enters today's game with a 3-10 record. The Owls have lost three straight games after falling, 92-62, at Harvard on Saturday.

Freshman guard Max Guercy led Rice with 19 points and five assists. Senior guard Tamir Jackson scored 14 points and had a game-high nine rebounds and sophomore guard Julian DeBose added 10 points.

Jackson is the only Owl in double-figures, averaging 17.2 points, which is fourth in Conference USA, while leading the team with 6.8 rebounds. He is also fourth in minutes played (35.1). DeBose is scoring 9.5 points and Guercy is adding 8.5.

As a team, Rice is scoring 58.2 points per game while allowing 67.7. The Owls are connecting on just 39.0% from the field, while the opposition is connecting on 46.0%. From three-point distance, Rice is connecting on 32.1%, but is allowing 36.4%. Rice is also being outrebounded, 38.9-to-26.8.

Head coach Ben Braun is in his fifth season at the helm of the Rice men's basketball program. Braun is 54-88 (.380) as head coach of the Golden Eagles. He has compiled a 606-478 (.559) record in 36 years as a head coach.

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