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Southern Miss Opens Final Road Trip at Florida Atlantic

Michael Craig
March 1, 2014

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball teams takes to Boca Raton, Fla., this Sunday, March 2, to face Florida Atlantic. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.

This will be the first-ever meeting between Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic.

Southern Miss enters tonight's game with a 24-5 record and 11-3 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won three straight after defeating FIU, 78-66, Thursday night.

Senior forward Michael Craig leads the team with 11.1 points and 7.4 boards, which is eighth in C-USA. He is also eighth in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 57.9-percent from the floor. Senior guard Neil Watson is scoring 11.0 points. He leads Conference USA and is fourth in the country (as of Feb. 27) in free throw percentage, connecting on 93.2-percent from the charity stripe. He is also seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.394) and assists (4.2) and is eighth in steals (1.6).

Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.6 points per game and is pulling down 4.6 rebounds per game. He is also connecting on 58.8-percent from the field, which is fourth 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 73.2 points per game and is leading C-USA in scoring defense, allowing just 63.2 points per game. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 46.8% from the field, which is second in the conference, and 34.8% from three while allowing 42.9% from the floor and 34.8% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.5-to-29.1, a rebound margin of +6.4, which is 17th in the NCAA (as of Feb. 27). The Black and Gold is second in the league and 15th in the country (as of Feb. 27) with 8.6 steals per game.

Florida Atlantic enters tonight's game with a 10-19 record and is 5-9 in Conference USA. The Owls have lost four straight after falling to Tulane, 72-64, Thursday night.

Senior guard Pablo Bertone leads Conference USA in scoring with 18.9 points. He is also 10th in minutes played (33.8). Freshman guard Marquan Botley is averaging 10.3 points and is 10th in the league in three-pointers made per game (1.8). Junior center Justin Raffington is adding 9.9 points and is third in the conference in rebounding, pulling down 8.7 boards.

Florida Atlantic is scoring 67.0 points per game but is allowing 68.8 points. The Owls are connecting on just 42.8-percent from the floor and 33.4-percent from three while allowing 42.2-percent from the field and 32.8-percent from three. FAU is outrebounding its opponents, 37.1-to-35.7.

Head coach Mike Jarvis is in his sixth year as the head of the Florida Atlantic program, where he has a 76-110 (.409) record. In 25 years as a head coach, Jarvis is 395-311 (.559).

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