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Golden Eagles preparing for Saturday game at Louisiana Tech

Jan. 26, 2018

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss men's basketball team is ready to cross the Mississippi River for its Saturday 6 p.m. game at Louisiana Tech.

The Bulldogs (12-9, 3-5 C-USA) are coming off home wins over North Texas and Rice, avenging defeats from the previous week to Middle Tennessee and UAB.

Fans can catch the action and home team audio feed on CUSA.tv and through the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg) with John Cox on the call.

– Southern Miss last Saturday won its ninth consecutive home game, 85-78 over North Texas, to tie for the eighth-longest streak in program history. Now, it sets its sights on a trip to Ruston, where it looks to snap the Bulldogs’ seven-game win streak in the series.

– Last year’s two meetings between the teams included a 79-55 decision in Hattiesburg on New Year’s Day, followed by a 93-65 score in the regular-season finale in Ruston. The Bulldogs ultimately finished second in C-USA.

– Southern Miss is 4-4 in the league with its next three contests on the road. Seven wins in the league would continue the trend of Doc Sadler improving the team’s C-USA win total in each season he has been at the helm.

– The Golden Eagles defeated Rice despite having just 17 rebounds. It was the fewest in a game since having 16 versus Tennessee Tech in 1984. The only other instances since then where the team had fewer than 20 were 19 each against Cincinnati in 2005 and UAB on Jan. 11. It was also the Black and Gold’s its first win despite being out-shot since Feb. 16, 2017 versus FIU (in overtime).

– A secret weapon to the Golden Eagles’ success this season has been its free-throw shooting. The squad rebounded from a 5-for-14 shooting at Marshall to post an active seven-game streak of 80 percent shooting or better, currently ranking No. 2 in C-USA action with a 79.4 percent clip. For the whole season, Southern Miss is 5-0 when getting at least 20 attempts in a game.

Dominic Magee returned last weekend from a two-game absence to average 17.5 points and six rebounds in the Jan. 18-20 sweep.Magee (11.9 ppg for the season), has averaged 18.5 ppg over his last four games after scoring a combined 21 points the previous four.

Tyree Griffin’s 120 assists already puts him 12 away from having the most of any player in a single season of the Doc Sadler era. He is currently No. 6 against C-USA foes for scoring (19.4 ppg), fifth in assists (5.6 apg), fourth in steals (2.4 pg) and seventh in assist-turnover ratio (2.3). He is also 12-for-21 on three-pointers the last four games (22-for-68 prior to that stretch).

Cortez Edwards had six steals against the Owls, tying for seventh-most in school history. Neil Watson also had six against ECU on March 8, 2012. He is No. 12 nationally with 49 swipes and has scored in double-figures in all but two games this season. His 16.2 ppg leads the team.

– Edwards last weekend recorded two kinds of double-doubles, first posting 13 points and 10 assists against Rice and then recording 19 points and 10 rebounds versus North Texas. The last Golden Eagle to accomplish that feat in the same season was Khari Price in 2015-16. Edwards leads this year’s team in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (49.8) while ranking second in blocks (7) and assists (58).

– Southern Miss has moved to third and fourth nationally for fewest turnovers per game (9.4) and assist-turnover ratio (1.62). Florida State has been the only team so far to edge the Black and Gold in the turnover battle. Southern Miss’ 23 assists versus Rice were its most against a Division I team since Nov. 27, 2004 versus McNeese State (26). It also had 32 versus Rust on Dec. 3, 2017.

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