Jan. 19, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team hosts Conference USA leader Louisiana Tech this Sunday, January 19, in a nationally-televised meeting. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT and will be broadcast by Fox Sports 1.
Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech will meet for the 73rd time. The Golden Eagles hold a 41-31 advantage. It is the third longest series in Southern Miss' history. When played in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss leads, 29-4 and have won the last seven meetings. This will be the first conference game between the two schools since 1952. Both schools were part of the Gulf States Conference from 1948-52.
Southern Miss enters today's game with a 15-3 record and 2-1 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are coming off an 84-62 victory over Rice on Thursday.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 11.4 points. He also leads Conference USA and is fifth in the country (as of Jan. 16) in free throw percentage, connecting on 92.2-percent from the charity stripe while adding 3.8 assists, good for sixth in the league. Senior forward Michael Craig is adding 10.9 points and a team-high 7.6 boards. He is also is fifth in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 57.9-percent from the floor.
Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.7 points per game and is pulling down 4.6 rebounds per game. He is also connecting on 55.0-percent from the field. Junior forward Aaron Brown is scoring 10.0 points and senior guard Jerrold Brooks is averaging 9.3 points.
Southern Miss is averaging 73.7 points per game and is leading C-USA by allowing just 62.9. The Golden Eagles are connecting on a league-best 47.1% from the field and 35.0% from three while allowing just 42.3% from the floor and 33.2% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 36.1-to-28.7 and is second in the league and 23rd in the country (as of Jan. 16) with 8.6 steals per game.
Louisiana Tech enters tonight's game with a 15-3 record, 3-0 in Conference USA. The Bulldogs have won seven straight after defeating Tulane, 73-45, Thursday night.
Junior guard Raheem Appleby is ninth in Conference USA with 16.1 points. He is also fifth in free throw percentage (.827). Sophomore guard Alex Hamilton is averaging 14.8 points and is ninth in C-USA with 1.4 steals. Senior forward Chris Anderson is scoring 10.6 points. Junior guard Kenneth Smith leads the league in assists (6.6) and steals (2.5). Junior forward Michale Kyser leads C-USA in blocks with (3.9) and leads the team with 7.6 rebounds.
Louisiana Tech leads C-USA in scoring, averaging 85.2 points while allowing just 65.2 points. The Bulldogs are third in the league in field goal percentage (.465) and second in field goal percentage defense (.389). Louisiana Tech is hitting 33.0-percent from three and allowing just 28.3-percent, which leads Conference USA. The Bulldogs are outrebounding their opponents, 42.8-to-36.3. Louisiana Tech also leads Conference USA in assists (16.4), steals (9.6) and blocks (6.3).
Head coach Michael White is in his third year as the head of the Louisiana Tech program, where he has a 60-26 (.698) record.