Feb. 28, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will play its final home game of the 2011-12 regular season this Wednesday, Feb. 29, when it hosts SMU. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
Southern Miss and SMU will meet for just the 10th time on the hardwood, with the Golden Eagles holding a 5-4 advantage. USM has won four of the last six games. In Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles are a perfect 3-0. Last year, SMU defeated Southern Miss, 79-65, in Dallas.
Southern Miss enters Wednesday night's contest with a 23-6 record, and 10-4 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 58-56 victory over Rice last Wednesday night.
Jonathan Mills was just one rebound away from his fourth straight double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing nine boards. Neil Watson had a team-high 13 points to along with four rebounds and four assists. Maurice Bolden had 10 points and eight rebounds and Rashard McGill added nine points and five boards.
LaShay Page is leading the team with 12.1 points. He also leads the league in minutes played (36.8), is third in three-pointers made (2.4) and is 10th in three-point field goal percentage (.360). Watson is second on the team with 12.1 points per game. He is connecting on 87.5-percent of his free throws to lead Conference USA and is fourth in assists (4.6). Darnell Dodson is scoring 11.2 points while pulling down 4.9 rebounds.
Maurice Bolden is scoring 9.8 points while grabbing 5.4 rebounds. He is also 10th in the league with 1.1 blocks per game. Jonathan Mills is also scoring 9.6 points and leads the team with 6.2 rebounds.
As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 71.6 points and is allowing just 63.9. The Golden Eagles are hitting just 41.6-percent of their shots and 36.3% of their three-pointers. Their opposition is connecting on 43.6% from the field and 33.6-percent from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles hold the advantage on the boards, as they are outrebounding their opponents 36.8-to-32.2, a difference of 4.6 per game, good for third on Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league in free throw percentage (.749).
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his eighth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 140-110 (.560) record during his time as head coach. In 21 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 400-255 (.611).
SMU comes into Wednesday night's game with a 12-17 record, 3-11 in C-USA. The Mustangs have lost nine of their last 11 games after falling at Houston, 62-59, Saturday night.
Senior forward Robert Nyakundi led SMU with 24 points. Sophomore guard Jeremiah Samarrippas had nine assists and sophomore forward Shawn Williams had seven rebounds.
The Mustangs are led by Nyakundi with 14.9 points, which is eighth in Conference USA and a team-high 4.9 rebounds. He also leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.430), is second in three-pointers made (2.6), fourth in free throw percentage (.822) and eighth in minutes played (33.9). Junior guard London Giles is second on the team 10.8 points. Samarrippas is also fifth in the league with 4.3 assists.
As a team, SMU is scoring just 59.9 points per game but are allowing a league-best 59.8. The Mustangs are shooting and allowing 42.4-percent from the floor. SMU is also connecting on 33.9-percent from three-point range and is allowing just 31.2%, third in C-USA. The Mustangs are pulling down just 28.4 boards per game and giving up 33.1. SMU is also leading the conference in three-pointers per game (7.6).
Head coach Matt Doherty is in his sixth season at the helm of the SMU men's basketball program. He has compiled a 79-107 (.425) record as its head coach. In 11 years as a head coach, Doherty is 169-178 (.487).
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