Feb. 19, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball looks to get back to its winning ways this Saturday, Feb. 20, when it hosts UCF. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss and UCF will meet for the seventh time, with the series tied 3-3. This will be the third meeting in Hattiesburg, with the teams splitting the previous two games. Last year, the teams split the season series, with UCF taking a 73-61 win in Orlando before Southern Miss earned a 77-53 victory in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament.
Southern Miss enters Saturday night's game with a 15-10 record and 5-6 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won five of their last seven games, but fell, 59-54, to UAB on Wednesday at Reed Green Coliseum.
Junior guard R.L. Horton led Southern Miss with 14 points. His three-pointer to open the game put Horton over 1,000 career points, becoming the 34th Golden Eagle to join that list. Junior forward Gary Flowers scored 11 points and grabbed a game-high six rebounds and sophomore guard Angelo Johnson added 10 points.
Flowers is in ninth-place in Conference USA with 14.7 points. He is also tenth in field goal percentage, connecting on 47.8-percent of his shots, seventh in rebounding with 7.8 boards per game and fourth in blocks (1.9).
Sophomore guard Maurice Bolden is second on the team with 9.6 points per game and 5.9 rebounds. He is also seventh in the league in free throw percentage, hitting 78.8-percent from the line. Sophomore guard Angelo Johnson is scoring 9.6 points, while junior guard R.L. Horton is also contributing 8.5 points.
As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 65.1 points per game, while allowing 59.5, tops in the conference. The Golden Eagles are third in the conference in rebounding, pulling down 37.5 boards per game while giving up just 30.9 to the opposition, which is second in the conference. The Black and Gold are connecting on 42.6-percent of their shots, while their opponents are hitting just 40.0-percent. Southern Miss also leads the league in three-point percentage defense, as opponents are hitting just 29.1-percent from beyond the arc.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his sixth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 90-90 (.500) record during his time as head coach. In 18 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 350-235 (.598).
UCF enters Saturday night's contest with a 13-12 record, 5-6 in conference. The Knights have won their last two games and three of their last four after defeating Houston, 68-65, on Tuesday night.
Freshman guard Marcus Jordan led UCF with 18 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward A.J. Tyler scored 12 points and sophomore guard Isaac Sosa dropped in 11. Freshman forward Keith Clanton added a game-high 10 rebounds.
Tyler is the only player scoring double-digit points, scoring 10.2 per game. He is also second on the team with 5.0 rebounds. Sosa is second on the team with 9.9 points, and is second in C-USA in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 41.7% of his attempts. Sophomore guard A.J. Rompza is scoring 9.4 points. He is second in the league in steals (2.8) and seventh in assists (4.2).
As a team, the Knights are averaging 66.2 points per game while allowing 67.4. UCF is grabbing 33.5 rebounds per game, while giving up 34.6. UCF is connecting on 44.0-percent of its shots while allowing the opposition to score 42.5-percent of the time.
Head coach Kirk Speraw is in his 17th season leading the UCF men's basketball program. He currently holds a 277-228 (.549) record. In 20 years, Speraw is 359-249 (.590).
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