Feb. 5, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss closes out its three-game road swing this Wednesday, Feb. 6, when it travels to Orlando, Fla., to face UCF. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.
Southern Miss Holds off UCF, 78-74
Jonathan Mills led a group of four Golden Eagles in double-figures, as Southern Miss held on to sweep the season series from UCF, 78-74, Saturday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss and UCF will meet for just the 12th time in a series that dates back to 2006. The Golden Eagles hold a 7-4 advantage and have won two straight and five of the last six meetings. In Orlando, the Knights hold a 3-1 lead. Last year, Southern Miss swept the season series, winning 78-65 in Orlando and 78-74 in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss comes into tonight's game with an 18-4 record, 7-0 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won 10 straight and 12 of their last 13 games after defeating UAB, 79-75, last Saturday night.
Junior guard Neil Watson led all players with 24 points and four assists. Watson was 7-of-7 from the field, including 6-of-6 from three, while hitting 4-of-5 free throws. Junior forward Michael Craig came off the bench to record his first career double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior guard Jerrold Brooks had 16 points and senior guard Dwayne Davis added 10.
Davis is leading the team with 13.0 points while pulling down 4.5 rebounds. He is also fifth in Conference USA in three-point field goal percentage (.439). Brooks is second on the team with 10.7 points. Craig is adding 9.5 points and 5.3 rebounds. He is also connecting on 58.6-percent from the floor, which is third in the league. Watson is averaging 9.4 points and is second in Conference USA in steals (1.9), third in three-point field goal percentage (.480) and fourth in assists (5.0). Senior forward Jonathan Mills is scoring 8.8 points and grabbing a team-high 6.6 boards a game, including 3.4 offensive rebounds per game, which is second in C-USA.
Southern Miss is scoring 74.3 points per game but allowing just 58.4, which leads Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are shooting 49.2-percent from the floor and allowing its opponents to just 38.8-percent, both of which are first in the league, respectively. The Golden Eagles lead C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (.397), as well as three-point field goal percentage defense (.306). Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.1-to-28.5. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league and are second in the country in steals with 12.0.
Head coach Donnie Tyndall is in his first season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. Tyndall is 18-4 (.818) as head coach of the Golden Eagles. He has compiled a 132-89 (.597) record in seven years as a head coach.
UCF enters tonight's game with a 15-6 record, 5-2 in Conference USA. The Knights had their four-game winning streak on Saturday, falling at Marshall, 75-71.
Senior forward Keith Clanton led all players with 24 points and nine rebounds. Junior guards Calvin Newell scored 19 points and Isaiah Sykes added 10.
Clanton leads UCF with 16.6 points and 9.3 rebounds, which are fourth and third in Conference USA, respectively. He is also second in the league in field goal percentage (.597) and blocks (1.9) and fourth in minutes played (35.7). Sykes is averaging 15.6 points, which is seventh in C-USA, and is fourth in assists (4.4). He also leads the league in steals with 2.0. Newell is averaging 11.4 points and junior forward Tristan Spurlock is scoring 10.5 points and pulling down 5.8 boards. Sophomore forward Kasey Wilson is leading the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.549).
As a team, the Knights are scoring 71.5 points per game while allowing 64.7. UCF is connecting on 47.9% from the field, which is second in Conference USA, while the opposition is connecting on 41.7%. From three-point distance, the Knights are connecting on 36.1%, and are allowing just 30.8%, which is second in the league. UCF is also outrebounding its opponents, 36.8-to-32.4.
Head coach Donnie Jones is in his third season at the helm of the UCF men's basketball program, where he is 58-29 (.667). Jones has compiled a 92-70 (.568) in six years as a head coach.
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