Feb. 26, 2014
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball teams hosts FIU this Thursday, February 27. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by CSS.
The game will be Southern Miss' annual Senior Night, as the Golden Eagles will recognize Cedric Jenkins, Daveon Boardingham, Jerrold Brooks, Michael Craig and Neil Watson.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Southern Miss and FIU.
Southern Miss enters tonight's game with a 23-5 record and 10-3 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won two straight after defeating then-league leader UTEP, 77-68, Saturday night.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 11.4 points. He leads Conference USA and is fourth in the country (as of Feb. 23) in free throw percentage, connecting on 93.2-percent from the charity stripe. He is also fifth in three-point field goal percentage (.403), seventh in the league in assists (4.1) and is tied for eighth in steals (1.5). Senior forward Michael Craig is also scoring 11.1 points while adding a team-high 7.4 boards, which is seventh in C-USA. He is also eighth in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 57.9-percent from the floor.
Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.5 points per game and is pulling down 4.5 rebounds per game. He is also connecting on 59.6-percent from the field, which is third in C-USA. Senior guard Jerrold Brooks is scoring 9.6 points and junior forward Aaron Brown is averaging 9.5 points.
Southern Miss is averaging 73.1 points per game and is leading C-USA in scoring defense, allowing just 63.1. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 46.8% from the field, which is second in the conference, and 35.0% from three while allowing 42.6% from the floor and 32.6% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.5-to-29.1, a rebound margin of +6.4, which is 18th in the NCAA (as of Feb. 23). The Black and Gold is second in the league and 16th in the country (as of Feb. 23) with 8.4 steals per game.
FIU enters tonight's game with a 13-15 record and is 5-8 in Conference USA. The Panthers have lost three straight after defeating Tulane, 72-54, Thursday night.
Senior forward Tymell Murphy is fourth in Conference USA in scoring with 16.8 points. He is also fifth in steals (1.8), sixth in field goal percentage (.583) and minutes played (34.3) and eighth in rebounding (7.3) and blocks (1.5). Senior forward Rakeem Buckles is averaging 13.6 points. He leads the team and is tied for second in the league in rebounding, pulling down 8.9 boards per game, while placing eighth in the league in blocks (1.5). Senior guard Raymond Taylor is adding 11.6 points. Junior guard Dennis Mavin is scoring 11.8 points and is tied for eighth in C-USA in steals (1.5).
FIU is scoring 65.1 points per game but is allowing 70.2 points. The Panthers are connecting on just 43.5-percent from the floor and 27.1-percent from three. They are allowing 44.7-percent from the field and 31.4-percent from three. FIU is also being outrebounded, 36.0-to-33.4.
Head coach Anthony Evans is in his first year as the head of the FIU program, where he has a 13-15 (.464) record. In seven years as a head coach, Evans is 112-109 (.507).