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Men's Basketball Closes Regular Season with Senior Day; Hosts UTEP

March 3, 2008

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss closes its home portion of the 2007-08 schedule when it hosts UTEP tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Reed Green Coliseum. The Golden Eagles, which had won five of its previous six games, look to snap a two-game losing streak.

The Golden Eagles will honor its only two seniors, Gjio Bain and Demar Dotson, before the game.

It is also Go Gold Night. Fans wearing gold receive $2 off admission to the game.

The teams will face each other for the tenth time in a series that dates back to 1950. The Miners lead the series, 7-3, and have won seven of the last eight meetings. In games played in Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles hold a 2-1 advantage. Earlier this year, UTEP defeated Southern Miss in El Paso, 90-79.

The Golden Eagles (15-13, 7-7 C-USA) are led by guard Jeremy Wise. The sophomore leads the team in scoring with 19.0 points per game. Right behind him is freshman R.L. Horton with 11.8, junior Courtney Beasley with 11.0. Craig Craft and Sai'Quon Stone add 8.3 points, while Stone leads the team with 5.4 rebounds.

Earlier this year, Southern Miss fell at UTEP, 90-79. Southern Miss started the game 1-for-7 from the field before battling back to take a 12-9 lead. Southern Miss scored the first six points before UTEP answered with a 29-10 run. However, the Golden Eagles outscored the Miners, 16-4, to close the half down 35-34. Southern Miss held a four-point lead with 11 minutes remaining, but was held scoreless over the next seven minutes. Jeremy Wise led the Golden Eagles with 19 points, while UTEP was led by Stefon Jackson's 33.

UTEP (16-11, 7-7 C-USA) enters today's game ranked with a 16-11 overall record, 7-7 in conference, and have lost four of its last six games. The Miners are led by guard Stefon Jackson. The senior currently leads the team with 24.3 points per game and 5.6 rebounds. Senior guard Marvin Kilgore is averaging 12.8 points and at team-high 4.9 assists. Freshman guard Randy Culpepper is averaging 12.6 points.

The Miners are coming off a 99-96 double overtime loss at SMU. Kilgore led UTEP with 28 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Jackson scored 27 points, while junior forward Tavaris Watts added 18 points and six rebounds.

Southern Miss closes out regular season schedule next on March 8. The Golden Eagles travel to Huntington, W.V. this Saturday to face Marshall in a 6:00 p.m. (CT) at the Cam Henderson Center.

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