HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team closes its three-game homestand this Sunday, February 9, against Charlotte. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and will be nationally-televised by CBS Sports Network.
Southern Miss and Charlotte will meet for the 31st time. The 49ers lead the series, 26-4. When played in Hattiesburg, Charlotte leads, 10-1, including winning the last eight. The 49ers have won 12 straight in the series. Southern Miss is looking for it's first-ever victory over Charlotte in Conference USA play, having lost all nine regular season meetings from 1995-2005.
Southern Miss enters today's game with a 20-3 record and 7-1 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won six straight after defeating Marshall, 60-57, Friday night.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 12.1 points. He leads Conference USA and is second in the country (as of Feb. 6) in free throw percentage, connecting on 93.7-percent from the charity stripe. He is also sixth in the league in steals (1.6) and eighth in assists (3.9). Senior forward Michael Craig is adding 11.3 points and a team-high 8.0 boards, which is eighth in C-USA. He is also fifth in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 58.6-percent from the floor.
Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.8 points per game and is pulling down 4.7 rebounds per game. He is also connecting on 57.9-percent from the field, which is seventh in C-USA. Senior guard Jerrold Brooks is scoring 9.6 points and junior forward Aaron Brown is averaging 9.0 points.
Southern Miss is averaging 73.0 points per game and is leading C-USA by allowing just 61.5. The Golden Eagles are connecting on a league-best 46.7% from the field and 34.5% from three while allowing just 41.9% from the floor and 34.0% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.9-to-28.5, a rebound margin of +7.3, which is 13th in the NCAA (as of Feb. 6). The Black and Gold is second in the league and 15th in the country (as of Feb. 6) with 8.7 steals per game.
Charlotte enters tonight's game with a 14-8 record and 5-4 in Conference USA. The 49ers are coming off a 64-63 loss at Tulane on Friday night.
Sophomore guard Shawn Lester leads Charlotte with 12.8 points. Junior guard Pierria Henry is averaging 12.2 points. He is also second in the league in steals (2.4), third in assists (6.2) and ninth in minutes played (33.6). Sophomore forward William Clayton is adding 12.0 points. He leads the league in field goal percentage (.615) and is third in rebounding (9.0). Junior guard Terrence Williams is pitching in 10.5 points. Senior guard Ben Cherry leads C-USA in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 51.3-percent from behind the arc.
Charlotte is scoring 73.8 points while allowing 71.9. The 49ers are connecting on 44.8-percent from the floor and leads C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (.376). They are allowing 43.1-percent from the field and 31.5-percent from three. Charlotte is also outrebounding its opponents, 38.5-to-34.8.
Head coach Alan Major is in his fourth year as the head of the Charlotte program, where he has a 58-57 (.504) record.