Jan. 31, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball will open up February by heading to Birmingham this Wednesday, Feb. 2, to face rival UAB. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from Bartow Arena.
Southern Miss and UAB will meet in the first of two games this season and for the 35th time overall, with the Blazers holding a 22-12 advantage. In Birmingham, the Blazers hold a 13-3 advantage, and have won the last three games there. Last year, UAB swept both regular season games, but the Golden Eagles won, 58-44, in the Quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament to snap a five-game losing streak to the Blazers.
Southern Miss enters the game with a 16-5 record, 5-3 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won their last two games, including a 67-54 victory last Saturday against Tulane.
Senior forward Gary Flowers recorded his fourth double-double of the year, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Senior guard R.L. Horton scored 12 points, and junior guard Maurice Bolden had 11 points and six rebounds.
Flowers is currently second in Conference USA in points with 20.1, which is also 22nd in the nation (through 1/30). He is also third in three-point field goal percentage (.446), fourth in blocks (1.7), seventh in field goal percentage (.397) and seventh in rebounding (7.6). Horton is scoring 12.4 points.
Freshman guard D.J. Newbill is averaging 9.2 points and is 11th in the league with 6.1 rebounds. Senior forward Josimar Ayarza is scoring 7.6 points per game while grabbing 3.8 rebounds. Junior guard Angelo Johnson is adding 7.8 points and is fifth in the league with 4.1 assists while pulling down 3.9 rebounds. He is also fifth in C-USA in free throw percentage (.831). Sophomore guard LaShay Page is also adding 6.4 points.
As a team, the Golden Eagles are second in Conference USA in scoring (77.5 ppg) while giving up 66.6 points. Southern Miss is connecting on 46.2-percent of its shots, while allowing its opposition to hit 41.6-percent. The Black and Gold are also leading the league with 39.0 rebounds and allowing 30.9 to the opposition, a rebound margin of 8.2, which is tops in the conference and 10th in the country (through 1/27). Southern Miss is also recording 12.7 assists and 4.0 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 111-99 (.529) record during his time as head coach. In 19 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 371-244 (.603).
UAB enters the game with a 15-5 record overall, and 5-2 in conference play, tied for the conference lead. The Blazers have won their last two games, and four of their last five, after rallying to defeat UCF, 74-69, in Orlando.
Sophomore guard Dexter Fields led UAB with 19 points. Senior guard Jamarr Sanders had 18. Senior guard Aaron Johnson added 11 points and 11 assists for his second double-double this season. Sophomore forward Ovie Soko contributed 13 points and six rebounds.
The Blazers are led by Sanders who is fourth in Conference USA in points (18.2).He is also third in the conference in three-point field goal made (2.7) and ninth in free throw percentage (.800) and minutes played (34.2). Junior forward Cameron Moore is ninth in the league with 16.2 points and is second with 9.4 rebounds. He is also eighth in field goal percentage (.490), seventh in blocks (1.4) and second in minutes played (35.5).
Johnson is scoring 11.3 points and is third in the country with 7.7 assists. He also leads C-USA with 35.8 minutes played, is tied for fifth in steals (1.8) and is tenth in free throw percentage (.798). Soko is averaging 9.3 points and second on the team with 5.4 boards.
As a team, UAB is scoring 70.9 points per game and are allowing just 63.8, good for fourth in Conference USA. The Blazers are shooting 45.3-percent from the floor, but allowing 41.5-percent. From behind the arc, UAB is connecting on just 34.2-percent, but are fourth in the league in three-point percentage defense (31.2%). UAB is barely outrebounding its opponents, 35.4-to-34.4, and are fourth in C-USA with 14.2 assists.
Head coach Mike Davis is in his fifth season at the helm of the UAB men's basketball program. He has compiled a 100-53 (.654) record as its head coach. In 11 years as a head coach, Davis owns a 215-132 (.620) record.
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