Feb. 18, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
Southern Miss looks for its third straight victory when they entertain Houston in a 7 p.m. tilt, Monday, at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Golden Eagles (16-8 overall, 6-5 C-USA), which clinched their first winning season since 2000-01 last Wednesday in an 80-42 win at East Carolina, have not won three straight conference games since they won five in a row during the last winning campaign. Southern Miss has won three of the last five games and five of the last eight heading into the UH affair.
Southern Miss plays a Cougar squad (14-11, 8-3) that has won three of the last five, including a 70-64 home triumph over UAB Saturday. The Cougars feature two of the Top 10 scorers in Conference USA including junior Robert McKiver, who holds No. 2 with an 18.8 scoring average. Teammate, senior Oliver Lafayette, holds down a No. 8 place tie in the league at 14.0 points per game.
The duo is two of four UH players in double figures as junior Dion Dowell is third on the club at 12.6 points a contest, while senior Jahmar Thorpe is fourth with a 10.9 scoring average.
The Golden Eagles counter with their freshman duo of Jeremy Wise, who leads the team and ranks No.4 in the league in scoring at 16.8 points per game, and Sai'Quon Stone.
Wise needs one point to become the school's all-time freshmen scorer. He is currently tied at the top of the list with Tom Bishop, who did that during the 1949-50 season.
Stone has been the inside presence for the Golden Eagles over the last eight games, averaging 16.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.5 assists. He now ranks No. 7 on the school's charts in free throws made (135) and No. 9 in free throw attempts (185).
Sophomores Courtney Beasley and Craig Craft are next on the Golden Eagles' scoring chart at 8.9 and 8.5 points per game, respectively.
The game will be the 25th meeting between the two schools in men's basketball with the Cougars holding a 13-11 advantage in the series. Southern Miss, though, holds a 6-3 mark in games played Hattiesburg despite losing the last three games to UH.
The UH contest is the first of three games for the Golden Eagles this week. After the tilt with the Cougars, the Golden Eagles take to the road to face UCF, Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT, and, Saturday, with a 3 p.m. contest at Tulane. Both of those games will be televised on CSTV (Comcast Channel 274 in Hattiesburg area).