Jan. 23, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
After playing four of the last five games away from Reed Green Coliseum, the Southern Miss men's basketball team starts a stretch, Wednesday, of playing three of the next four at home, when they entertain East Carolina in a 7 p.m., contest.
The ECU tilt has been designated "Take a Kid to a Game" night, as fans can receive one complimentary youth bleacher seat with the purchase of an adult ticket for the game. For tickets, please go to SouthernMiss.com.
The Golden Eagles (12-5 overall, 2-2 C-USA) are fresh off a 57-55 overtime victory at UAB last Saturday, in which freshman Jeremy Wise (Jackson, Miss.) scored a game-high 22 points, including the game winner with one second remaining. For Wise, it was his fifth double-digit scoring contest in 17 games and fifth 20-plus scoring game.
Fellow freshman, Sai'Quon Stone (Brooklyn, N.Y.), has steadily improved his game during his rookie season with the Golden Eagles, averaging 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Stone tallied 12 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, a block and two steals versus the Blazers and has been praised lately by third-year coach Larry Eustachy.
One other player that has stepped up his game is sophomore Craig Craft (Raleigh, Miss.), who has tallied averages of 7.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest. Over the last five games, Craft is averaging 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds over that span.
The Golden Eagles face an East Carolina team (5-12, 0-4) that has lost four-straight games and 11 of its last 12. The four Pirate wins have all come at home over Morgan State, Limestone, North Carolina Central and Chowan. ECU also gave North Carolina State all they wanted, before falling in Raleigh, 64-57. The Pirates four league losses have come at Tulsa, followed by home setbacks to Rice, Tulane and nationally ranked Memphis.
The Pirates, though, have dominated the series with the Eagles, holding a 6-1 advantage in the two team's seven previous meetings.
Southern Miss did capture its first win against ECU last season, in a 74-56 decision at Green Coliseum, last season, in the regular-season finale.
Following ECU, the Golden Eagles travel to Memphis, Saturday, to face the nationally ranked Tigers in a noon contest at the FedExForum. Following that trip, Southern Miss returns home next week to take on UTEP (Jan. 31) and Tulane (Feb. 3).