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Men's Hoops Begins Two-Game Road Trip at Houston

Jonathan Mills looks to lead Southern Miss into Houston.

Jonathan Mills looks to lead Southern Miss into Houston.

Feb. 17, 2012

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team begins a two-game road trip this Saturday, Feb. 18, when it takes on Houston. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT and will be televised on CSS.

Southern Miss and Houston will meet for the 32nd time, with the Cougars holding a slight 16-15 advantage. However, USM has won three of the last four meetings, including last year's 85-73 win in Hattiesburg. In Houston, UH holds a 10-5 lead.

Southern Miss enters Saturday night's contest with a 22-4 record, and 9-2 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles defeated Tulsa last Wednesday, 77-69, in overtime.

Jonathan Mills scored a career-high 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the year, while also recording two blocks and two steals. He was 6-of-7 from the floor and a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line. Neil Watson scored 18 points, grabbed five rebounds and had four assists. Maurice Bolden had 11 points and Torye Pelham added nine points and 11 boards.

LaShay Page leads the team with 12.5 points. He is also third in the league in three-pointers made (2.5) and is eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.369). Darnell Dodson is scoring 11.8 points while pulling down 4.9 rebounds.

Watson is adding 11.6 points while connecting on 87.8% of his free throws, which leads C-USA. He is also second in assists (4.5). Bolden is scoring 10.5 points while grabbing a team-high 5.6 rebounds. He is also 10th in the league with 1.2 blocks per game. Angelo Johnson is also scoring 9.3 points and is 11th in the conference with 3.1 assists.

As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 72.3 points and is allowing just 63.3. The Golden Eagles are hitting 42.0-percent of their shots and 36.3% of their three-pointers. Their opposition is connecting on 43.3% from the field and 34.3-percent from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles hold the advantage on the boards, as they are outrebounding their opponents 36.9-to-31.7, a difference of 5.2 per game, good for third on Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league in free throw percentage (.760).

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his eighth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 139-108 (.563) record during his time as head coach. In 21 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 399-253 (.612).

Houston comes into Saturday night's game with an 11-13 record, 3-8 in C-USA. The Cougars have lost four straight games and eight of their last ten after falling at Tulsa, 72-48, last Saturday night.

Junior guard Jonathan Simmons led Houston with 13 points and five rebounds. Freshman guard Joseph Young scored 13 points and sophomore forward Alandise Harris added 10.

Houston is led by Simmons with 14.8 points, which is ninth in Conference USA. He is also seventh in the league in field goal percentage (.533) while pulling down 4.8 rebounds. Harris is second on the team with 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. Young is scoring 10.7 points and is third in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.398). Freshman forward TaShawn Thomas is scoring 10.6 points. He is also second in C-USA in blocks (2.2), third in field goal percentage (.573) and seventh in rebounding (7.8).

As a team, the Cougars are scoring 72.5 points per game, which is second in Conference USA. However, they are allowing 73.2 points, which is last in the conference. Houston is third in the league shooting 46.4-percent from the floor while allowing their opponents to connect on 44.0-percent. UH is also connecting on 36.2-percent from three-point range and allowing 35.9%. The Cougars are pulling down 35.8 boards per game and giving up 34.8. Houston is also third in the league in blocked shots (5.2).

Head coach James Dickey is in his second season at the helm of the Houston men's basketball program. He has compiled a 23-31 (.426) record as its head coach. In 11 years as a head coach, Dickey owns a 168-174 (.491) record.

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