Feb. 14, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball looks to rebound from last night's loss when it travels to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to face Middle Tennessee, this Saturday, February 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT and will be televised by CSS.
Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee will meet for just the third time and the first since 1959. The series is tied, 1-1. When played in Murfreesboro, MTSU leads, 1-0. This is the first ever meeting as conference opponents.
Southern Miss enters the game with a 21-4 record and 8-2 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles had its seven-game winning streak snapped on Thursday when it fell at UAB, 84-60.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 11.6 points. He leads Conference USA and is second in the country (as of Feb. 13) in free throw percentage, connecting on 94.0-percent from the charity stripe. He is also tied for seventh in the league in steals (1.6) and eighth in assists (4.0). Senior forward Michael Craig is also scoring 11.6 points while adding a team-high 7.8 boards, which is seventh in C-USA. He is also third in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 59.5-percent from the floor.
Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.6 points per game and is pulling down 4.8 rebounds per game. He is also connecting on 57.9-percent from the field, which is sixth 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 72.8 points per game and is leading C-USA by allowing just 62.5. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 46.4% from the field, which is second in the conference, and 33.8% from three while allowing just 42.5% from the floor and 34.6% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 36.0-to-28.7, a rebound margin of +7.3, which is 15th in the NCAA (as of Feb. 13). The Black and Gold is second in the league and 15th in the country (as of Feb. 13) with 8.5 steals per game.
Middle Tennessee enters tomorrow's game with an 18-7 record and 8-2 in Conference USA. The Blue Raiders have won six straight after defeating Tulane, 71-44, Thursday night.
Senior forward Shawn Jones is eighth in Conference USA with 15.3 points. He is also fourth in field goal percentage (.587) and blocks (1.9) and fifth in rebounding (8.7). Senior forward Neiko Hunter is averaging 13.2 points. Senior guard Kerry Hammonds is adding 12.3 points. He is also sixth in free throw percentage (.814) and seventh in three-pointers made per game (2.0). Senior guard Tweety Knight is third in the conference in steals (2.1) and fourth in assists (4.6).
Middle Tennessee is scoring 73.6 points while allowing 65.1. The Blue raiders are connecting on 45.8-percent from the floor and just 31.8-percent from three. They are allowing just 41.0-percent from the field and 34.2-percent from three. MTSU is also outrebounding its opponents, 37.9-to-32.4, a rebound margin of 5.5, which is third in the conference. Middle Tennessee is also second in C-USA in blocks (4.7) and third in steals (7.4).
Head coach Kermit Davis is in his 12th year as the head of the Middle Tennessee program, where he has a 226-156 (.592) record. In 16 years as a head coach, Davis is 298-196 (.603) overall.