Men's Basketball Closes Regular Season Saturday at Louisiana Tech
Golden Eagles look to bring some momentum into Wednesday's C-USA Championships opener
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Twenty-nine games down, one to go in the regular season for the Southern Miss men's basketball team, and it will wind down against longtime rival Louisiana Tech on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Ruston, La.
The game will be televised on ASN with Dave Armstrong and Rich Zvosec on the call. Fans can also tune in to the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg) with John Cox on the call. The Golden Eagles are already locked in for the C-USA Championships in Birmingham with the first game on Wednesday (time TBD).
– For the first time since a two-year postseason ban, the Golden Eagles are headed to the C-USA Championships the following week. Head coach Doc Sadler has improved the Golden Eagles’ league-win total each year he has been with the program, going from three his first campaign (one was vacated) to five and now six as the program continues to trend upward.
– Southern Miss’ Wednesday tip-off time from Birmingham is completely up-in-the-air until Saturday night’s bracket reveal at 10 p.m. CT. A win over Louisiana Tech and two losses each by Charlotte and Florida Atlantic would put the Golden Eagles into the 10-seed.
– Saturday’s game was emotional for many reasons. First of all, it came two days after the Golden Eagles rallied from 18 points down with 13 mnutes to play to nearly knock off Rice, only to fall 72-71 in overtime. The team then headed north to Denton and hung a 23-point win at North Texas, its largest margin of victory in the Doc Sadler era and first away from Reed Green Coliseum since Jan. 16, 2016 at FIU. Four scored in double-figures, led by Quinton Campbell’s 24 points (10-of-13 shooting that included recording the first 11 points for the Black and Gold) and 13 rebounds. That performance helped him earn his first-career Conference USA Player of the Week honor, which was also the first for Southern Miss since 2015.
– Michael Ramey, a day after turning 24, was white-hot from beyond the arc in the first half, connecting on six consecutive three-pointers to give the Golden Eagles a 47-30 lead it would maintain the rest of the way. He was the first Golden Eagle to make that many in a row in one game since Neil Watson went 7-for-7 vs. East Carolina on March 2, 2013. Southern Miss also had a 47-29 rebounding advantage, its best since the 2016 finale at Marshall (also 47-29).
– The previous meeting between the teams came on New Year’s Day in Hattiesburg, and it was truly a tale of two halves. Both combined to shoot 22 percent (15-69) in the first half, yet 59.6 percent (34-57) in the second. LA Tech led 25-18 at the half and was up by as much as 20 following a huge run, but Quinton Campbell’s three-pointer with 9:34 remaining put Southern Miss within six. Two Bulldog free-throws and a dunk followed, and it remained a double-digit margin the rest of the way.
– Southern Miss was able to limit not just two of LA Tech’s top threats, but also two of the league’s best in that first meeting. Erik McCree, the conference’s sixth-leading scorer, was held to 2-of-9 shooting and DaQuan Bracey had three assists despite now leading C-USA with six per game.
– Cortez Edwards’ sophomore season has been truly remarkable. He made his second career start on Dec. 22 and has not looked back. Edwards is the only one in the league’s top-six (C-USA play only) for steals, assists, assist-turnover ratio and minutes. Quinton Campbell has been the other star for the team, as his scoring, rebounding and free-throw averages have all been higher since league play began. Eddie Davis III in that Saturday game at North Texas went 8-for-9 from the field and added seven rebounds, all off the bench. That marked the best FG percentage by a Southern Miss individual since Kourtlin Jackson in Dec. 2015, and his other 17-point games came in a big win over Marshall (91-76) and also at top-15 Florida State.
– Southern Miss and LA Tech have faced each other 73 times, the most of any current C-USA opponent. The Bulldogs, in league play, lead in assists, steals and blocks while holding the second spot in scoring margin and three-point percentage.