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Southern Miss Begins Two-Game Road Swing at UTEP

Jan. 31, 2009

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team begins a two-game road trip this Saturday, when they travel to El Paso, Texas to take on UTEP. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT.

Southern Miss and UTEP will meet for the 12th time, with the Miners holding a 7-4 advantage. In El Paso, UTEP has won five of six games. However, Southern Miss has not won on the road since 1950. Last year, the teams split the series, with UTEP taking a 90-79 win in El Paso, and Southern Mss returning the favor in Hattiesburg with a 96-70 victory.

Southern Miss enters Saturday night's game with a 13-6 record, 3-2 in C-USA. The Golden Eagles won their second straight game Tuesday, coming back from 10 points down in the second half to defeat Marshall, 83-79.

Southern Miss had five players in double-figures, led by Courtney Beasley with a season-high 24 points. Craig Craft scored 16 points, while R.L. Horton added 14 points. Jeremy Wise and Andre Stephens each has 12, while Stephens added 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Wise is ninth in the conference with 16.3 points per game, while also averaging 5.0 assists. Beasley is averaging 14.5 points and grabbing a team-high 6.5 rebounds, while R.L. Horton and Craig Craft are each contributing 11.6 points. Craft, along with Andre Stephens, is adding 5.5 rebounds.

The Golden Eagles are averaging 68.6 points per game, while allowing 62.5. Southern Miss is hitting 72.1-percent of their free throws and grabbing 36.1 rebounds.

UTEP enters tonight's game with a 12-8 record, 3-3 in conference. The Miners snapped a two-game losing streak Wednesday night, erasing a 13-point first half deficit to earn a 62-55 victory at Houston.

Freshman forward Arnett Moultrie led UTEP with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Sophomore guard Randy Culpepper scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds and senior guard Stefon Jackson added 12 points. Julyan Stone contributed 11 assists in the victory.

Jackson is the second leading scorer in Conference USA with 22.9 points while also pulling down 5.9 rebounds, good for second on the team. Culpepper is second on the team in scoring with 18.9 points. Moultrie is averaging 8.6 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds, while Stone adds 6.4 assists a game.

As a team, the Miners are shooting 43.0-percent while allowing its opponents to shoot 43,6-percent from the field. UTEP is scoring 76.9 points per game while allowing 73.0.

Head Coach Tony Barbee is in his third season at the helm of the UTEP men's basketball program. He has compiled a 45-49 (.536) record during his tenure as head coach.

The Golden Eagles close out the road trip next Wednesday, Feb. 4, when they travel to Greenville, N.C. to face East Carolina. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT.

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