Jan. 10, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team looks to get back to its winning ways when it travels to Houston, Texas this Wednesday, Jan. 12, to face Rice. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT.
This is just the ninth meeting between Southern Miss and Rice, with the series split at four games apiece. But, Southern Miss has won the three of the last four games, including last year's 66-50 victory in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles, however, are looking for their first victory in Houston, as they dropped their previous three meetings there.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 95-65 defeat in its conference road opener at Marshall. Senior forward Gary Flowers recorded his third straight 20 point game, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds. Senior guard R.L. Horton scored 11 points and freshman guard D.J. Newbill added 10 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Maurice Bolden contributed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Flowers is currently second in Conference USA with 21.2 points. He also leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.475), is third in blocks (1.9), sixth in field goal percentage (.521) and seventh in rebounding (7.7). Horton is second on the team with 12.1 points.
Newbill is averaging 8.8 points and is tenth in the league with 6.4 rebounds. Senior forward Josimar Ayarza is scoring 7.9 points per game and while grabbing 4.3 rebounds. Junior guard Angelo Johnson is adding 7.1 points and is fourth in the league with 4.6 assists while pulling down 4.6 rebounds.
As a team, the Eagles are second in Conference USA in scoring (78.0 ppg) while giving up 64.4 points. Southern Miss is connecting on 45.4-percent of its shots, while allowing its opposition to hit 38.6-percent, which is also second in the league. The Black and Gold are also leading the league with 41.1 rebounds, while recording 11.9 assists and 4.3 blocks.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his seventh season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 107-97 (.525) record during his time as head coach. In 19 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 367-242 (.603).
Rice is 8-8 and 0-2 in conference play entering tonight's game. The Owls have lost their last two games and four of their last six after last Saturday's 75-64 defeat at Tulsa.
Sophomore forward Arsalan Kazemi recorded his 11th double-double of the year with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Senior forward Suleiman Braimoh scored 12 points. Freshman center Omar Oraby added nine points and sophomore guard Tamir Jackson scored eight.
The Owls are led by Kazemi, who is the only player in Conference USA averaging a double-double. He is fourth in scoring with 17.9 points per game, while leading the league with 11.5 rebounds. He also leads the league in field goal percentage at 63.4%.
Jackson is second on the team with 13.1 points, while leading Rice with 3.2 assists per game. Junior guard Connor Frizzelle is scoring 8.8 points and leads C-USA in free throw percentage (.902).
As a team, the Owls are scoring 69.4 points per game while allowing 67.4. Rice is shooting 44.4-percent from the floor while its opposition is hitting 43.2-percent of its shots. From behind the arc, Rice is hitting just 30.0-percent of its shots, and allowing its opponents to hit 39.6-percent. The Herd are pulling down 35.4 rebounds, while leading the league in rebounding defense, giving up just 30.2 per game.
Head coach Ben Braun is in his third season at the helm of the Rice men's basketball program. He has compiled a 26-53 (.329) record this year as head coach. In his 34th season as a head coach, Braun is 578-442 (.567) as a head coach.