Jan. 18, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Coming off its biggest win of the year, the Southern Miss men's basketball team aims to keep up its strong play when it closes a two-game homestand this Wednesday, Jan. 18, against Memphis. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT at Reed Green Coliseum. The game will also be televised on CSS.
Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets early to avoid long lines on Wednesday. The Southern Miss ticket office will be open starting Tuesday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans can order their tickets by calling 1-800-844-TICK, or stop by the Ferlise Center, as well as online at southernmiss.com.
Southern Miss and Memphis will meet for the 84th time on the hardwood, with Memphis holding a 60-23 advantage in the Golden Eagles longest running rivalry. In Hattiesburg, the Tigers hold a 20-13 lead. Southern Miss is looking for its first win over UM since 2004, as the Tigers have won the last 14 meetings.
Southern Miss enters the contest with a 14-3 record, 3-1 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are coming off an 86-69 victory over then 22nd-ranked UCF. Senior guard R.L. Horton led the Eagles with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Freshman guard D.J. Newbill scored 17 points and had a game-high nine rebounds. Senior forward Gary Flowers had 16 points and eight rebounds, and junior guard Maurice Bolden added 16 points and six boards.
With the win, Southern Miss received votes in the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls (Jan. 17). The Golden Eagles received eight votes in the AP poll, and three in the Coaches Poll. It is the first time since the 2000-01 season that Southern Miss received votes in either poll.
Flowers currently leads Conference USA with 21.1 points, which is also 14th in the nation (through 1/16). He is also fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.441), is third in blocks (1.9), seventh in rebounding (7.8) and eighth in field goal percentage (.498). Horton is second on the team with 12.4 points.
Newbill is averaging 9.4 points and is tied for 10th in the league with 6.3 rebounds. Senior forward Josimar Ayarza is scoring 7.7 points per game and while grabbing 4.2 rebounds. Junior guard Angelo Johnson is adding 6.9 points and is fourth in the league with 4.4 assists while pulling down 4.2 rebounds. Page is also adding 7.1 points.
As a team, the Golden Eagles are first in Conference USA in scoring (78.6 ppg) while giving up 65.5 points. Southern Miss is connecting on 45.8-percent of its shots, while allowing its opposition to hit 39.5-percent. The Black and Gold are also leading the league with 40.5 rebounds and allowing 32.4 to the opposition, a rebound margin of 8.1, which is 12th in the country (through 1/16). Southern Miss is also recording 12.2 assists and 4.2 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 109-97 (.529) record during his time as head coach. In 19 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 369-242 (.604).
Memphis enters tonight's game with a 13-4 record overall, and 2-1 in conference play. The Tigers have split their last four games after defeating Marshall, 77-61, Saturday afternoon.
Senior forward Will Coleman recorded his first double-double of the season with game-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Charles Carmouche had 16 points, and freshman guard Will Barton had 15 points and five assists. Freshman forward Tarik Black added 12 points and nine boards.
The Tigers are led by Barton with 12.2 points while also averaging 4.6 rebounds 3.1 assists, good for 15th in Conference USA. Senior guard Wesley Witherspoon is scoring 11.5 points per game and pulling down a team-high 4.9 rebounds. Freshman guard Joe Jackson is averaging 10.4 points, and is sixth in the league with 4.1 assists per game.
As a team, Memphis is second in the league in scoring with 78.3 points. However, they are last in C-USA in scoring defense, allowing 70.6. The Tigers are shooting 45.8-percent from the floor while its opposition is hitting 42.0-percent of its shots. From behind the arc, UM is hitting and allowing 35.4-percent. Memphis is outrebounding its opponents, 37.3-to-34.7, and it also leads Conference USA in assists (16.2) and steals (9.8).
Head coach Josh Pastner is in his second season at the helm of the Memphis men's basketball program. He has compiled a 37-14 (.725) record as its head coach.