Men's Basketball looks to maintain momentum on road at UAB
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss men's basketball team will head out this afternoon for its second C-USA road trip of the year, first taking on UAB at 7 p.m. on Thursday, followed by Middle Tennessee at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Blazers (11-5, 2-1 C-USA) most recently defeated FIU and FAU on the road after falling 63-60 to Middle Tennessee in the opener.
Live video of Thursday's action can be found on CUSA.tv, while John Cox will have the call on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg/Laurel). Audio can also be found on the USM Gameday app.
– Southern Miss is coming off back-to-back, 10-point home wins over UTEP and UTSA. The Golden Eagles had five score in double-figures in each game and had a combined 34 assists to 15 turnovers. Southern Miss shot 60.3 percent on Thursday night, its highest since Jan. 3, 2015 versus LA Tech.
– Dominic Magee and Cortez Edwards have each posted double-doubles in the Dec. 16 and Jan. 6 wins, something that Southern Miss hadn’t seen previously since 2011 (Darnell Dodson and Jonathan Mills).
– Southern Miss’ 14 steals against UTEP were also its most against a Division I team in the Doc Sadler era. It also had 16 versus Rust on Dec. 3. The Golden Eagles have a 132-36 advantage in steals this season after a combined 616-479 deficit in Sadler’s first two seasons. Edwards ranks No. 12 nationally with 40 swipes on the season, just five off his total from last season.
– Edwards has continued to elevate his offensive game as well. The junior became a full-time starter on Dec. 22, 2016 and averaged 12.1 ppg and 6.3 rpg against C-USA foes, playing 36 minutes a contest. This year, with hefty newcomer help from Magee and Tyree Griffin, he has six of his eight-career 20-point games while raising his field goal percentage six points and free-throw mark by eight.
– Kevin Holland had the game of his life, and of Southern Miss immortality, on Saturday. The redshirt-junior went 8-for-8 from the field, including 7-for-7 on three-pointers. Both tied for school records in percentage. Only Marcus Crowell (1990 vs. UL Lafayette) had made at least eight field goals without a miss. Holland already had a spot atop the three-point record book, going 5-for-5 vs. Tulane on Dec. 10, 2016. Holland is second in C-USA (39-for-75) with a .520 mark but is 15 three-pointers ahead of the leader. He was 36-for-121 in his first two years.
– Southern Miss had 30 of its 35 free-throw attempts in Saturday’s second half, with D’Angelo Richardson going 10-for-10 at the line. The squad is 4-0 when he scores in double-figures. Magee also had all 18 of his points in the second half. UTSA shot a Reed Green Coliseum-record 44 three-pointers, and the Golden Eagles held on by going 14-for-16 at the foul line over the final 1:36.
– Southern Miss used seven players in Saturday’s win. The only other-such occurrence was the 89-71 win over Troy on Dec. 10. LaDavius Draine, the eighth player, checked in for the final minute of Thursday’s win over UTEP. Tim Rowe tied a career-high with 29 minutes in that game. Magee went for a career-high 37 on Saturday, his sixth time playing more than 30 minutes (all this season).
– Southern Miss has risen to third and sixth nationally for fewest turnovers per game (9.5) and assist-turnover ratio (1.61). Against WKU, the squad committed no turnovers in the second half. Florida State has been the only team so far to edge the Black and Gold in the turnover battle.
– Saturday’s win over UTSA marked the first time in seven games that the Golden Eagles did not have a higher second-half shooting percentage than the first. Over that prior stretch, the splits were 51.1 percent in the second and 33.5 percent in the first. Included in that mark is a 19-for-29 performance at Marshall over the final period (65.5 percent) as well as the 20-for-27 clip (74.1 percent) against UTEP.