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Southern Miss Goes for Three Straight Wins against SMU

Feb. 1, 2010

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team tries for its third straight victory on Tuesday, Feb. 2, when it hosts SMU. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

Southern Miss and SMU will meet for just the eighth time on the hardwood, with the Golden Eagles holding a 4-3 advantage. The Golden Eagles won the only other meeting in Hattiesburg, an 81-61 victory in 2008. Southern Miss has won three of the last four meetings over the Mustangs. Last year, SMU snapped a three-game losing streak to the Eagles, winning 67-65, in Dallas.

Southern Miss enters Tuesday night's game with a 12-8 record and 2-4 in Conference USA after earning its second straight victory last Saturday, 58-40, over Tulane at Fogelman Arena.

Sophomore guard Angelo Johnson scored a career-high 20 points, including a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line. Senior guard Buchi Awaji tied a career-high with 13 points. Junior forward Gary Flowers led all players with 10 rebounds, while junior forward Sai'Quon Stone added nine boards.

Flowers is in 10th-place in Conference USA with 14.3 points. He is eighth in field goal percentage, connecting on 49.0-percent of his shots, sixth in rebounding with 8.0 boards per game and third in blocks (2.1).

Sophomore guard Maurice Bolden is second on the team with 10.7 points per game and 6.4 rebounds. He is also third in the league in free throw percentage, hitting 82.2-percent from the line. Sophomore guard Angelo Johnson is scoring 9.5 points, while Horton is also contributing 8.5 points.

As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 67.2 points per game, while allowing 60.5, second in the conference. The Golden Eagles are second in the conference in rebounding, pulling down 38.5 boards per game while giving up just 30.6 to the opposition. The Black and Gold are connecting on 43.5-percent of their shots, while their opponents are hitting just 39.7-percent. Southern Miss is also tops in the league in three-point percentage defense, as opponents are hitting just 29.1-percent from beyond the arc.

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his sixth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled an 87-88 (.497) record during his time as head coach. In 18 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 347-233 (.598).

SMU enters Tuesday night's contest with a 10-10 record. They are 3-3 in conference and have won their last four games after defeating Memphis, 70-60, last Saturday. Junior forward Papa Dia led the Mustangs with his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Senior guard Derek Williams added 25 points in the victory.

Williams is fourth in the conference with 17.0 points and ninth with 3.6 assists. Dia is second on the team with 12.1 points and is fourth in the league with 8.2 rebounds and field percentage, connecting on 54.5-percent of his shots and fifth in free throw percentage (81.3). Senior forward Mouhammad Faye is third on the team with 10.7 points.

As a team, the Mustangs are averaging 68.8 points per game while allowing 64.8. SMU is grabbing 33.6 rebounds per game, while giving up just 29.8. SMU is connecting on 46.9-percent of its shots while allowing the opposition to score 42.9-percent of the time.

Head coach Matt Doherty is in his fourth season leading the SMU men's basketball program. He currently holds a 43-68 (.387) record. Doherty is in his ninth season in his career with an overall record of 133-139 (.489).

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