March 6, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Southern Miss begins its quest for an automatic NCAA berth when they open play in the Conference USA Championship presented by Aeropostale against SMU, here Wednesday, at 2:30 p.m., in the FedExForum.
The game can be heard on one of the affiliates of the Southern Miss/ISP Radio Network or via online with CSTV All-Access. To sign up for CSTV All-Access, go to SouthernMiss.com and click on "All-Access," then click on "sign in", then enter your email and password or click on "Sign up Now" if you are a new user (CSTV All-Access pricing: $6.95 - monthly $49.95 - Southern Miss Package - Annual $99.95 - CSTV XXL Premium - Annual)/
The Golden Eagles (19-10 overall, 9-7 C-USA) enter the event having won two straight and five of the last seven games.
Southern Miss, which finished in a three-way tie for fourth place to finish the league season, received the No. 6 seed in the event due to tiebreakers with Tulane and Tulsa and play the No. 11 seeded Mustangs (14-16, 3-13). The seed is the highest for the Golden Eagles since they were the No. 2 in the 2001 event.
The two teams opened C-USA play back in January with Southern Miss racing out to a big first-half advantage, 18 points at intermission, before seeing it vanish in the second period. SMU took the lead briefly late, but Andre Stephens' jumper with 1:32 left proved to be the game winner as the visiting Eagles captured a 57-56 victory in Dallas.
The series has seen each team win twice as all four previous meetings have taken place in Dallas.
C-USA Freshman and Newcomer of the Year Jeremy Wise leads the Golden Eagles at 17.6 points per game average. Wise is followed by fellow C-USA All-Freshman team member, Sai'Quon Stone is next at 10.3 points per contest.
SMU looks to counter with its top play Ike Ofoegbu, who ranks No. 7 in scoring in C-USA at 14.5 points per game. Mustang Donatas Rackauskas is No. 17 in rebounding at 5.7 per tilt in the league.
The winner of the game advances to Thursday's quarterfinal game against No. 3 seed Houston. Game time is 2:30 p.m., and will be televised live on CSTV (Comcast Channel 274 in Hattiesburg).
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