March 7, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The fifth-seeded Southern Miss men's basketball team will open the 2011 Buick Conference USA Tournament this Wednesday, Mar. 9, Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. CT from the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.
This is the second straight year that Southern Miss and Tulane will meet in the first round. Last year, the Golden Eagles won 57-47. It is also the 73rd meeting between the two teams, with the Green Wave holding a 40-32 advantage. However, the Golden Eagles have won the last four meetings and seven of the last eight games. In neutral site games, the series is tied at two. Earlier this year, Southern Miss won the only meeting between the teams, 67-54, Jan. 29 in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss enters the tournament with a 21-9 record, after finishing 9-7 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are looking to snap a three-game losing streak, their longest of the year, after falling 78-70 at Tulsa in their regular season finale.
Senior guard R.L. Horton led the team with 18 points. Senior forward Gary Flowers scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds, and sophomore guard LaShay Page added 12 points.
Flowers is currently third in Conference USA in points with 19.0, which is also 38th in the nation (through 3/6). He is also fifth in blocks (1.5), sixth in rebounding (7.8) and ninth in field goal percentage (.476). Horton is second on the team in scoring with 12.5 points.
Freshman guard D.J. Newbill is averaging 9.1 points and is 11th in the league with 6.4 rebounds. He is also connecting on 52.3-percent from the field. Junior guard Angelo Johnson is adding 7.8 points and is fifth in the league with 4.2 assists while pulling down 3.4 rebounds. He is also 12th in C-USA in free throw percentage (.772). Senior forward Josimar Ayarza is scoring 7.5 points per game while grabbing 3.8 rebounds and junior guard Maurice Bolden is adding 6.9 points.
As a team, the Golden Eagles are tops in Conference USA in scoring (74.8 ppg) while giving up 66.0 points. Southern Miss is connecting on 45.4-percent of its shots, while allowing its opposition to hit 42.1-percent. The Black and Gold are also leading the league with 38.5 rebounds and allowing just 30.8 to the opposition, a rebound margin of 7.7, which is tops in the conference and 10th in the country (through 3/6). Southern Miss is also recording 12.0 assists and 3.8 blocks.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his seventh season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 116-103 (.530) record during his time as head coach. In 19 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 376-248 (.603).
Tulane enters the tournament with a 13-16 overall record, and finished 3-13 in the league. The Green Wave has lost 13 of their last 14 games after falling at Memphis, 66-61, Saturday afternoon.
The Green Wave had all five starters in double-figures, led by senior guard/forward Johnny Mayhane with 15 points. Sophomore guard and Second Team All-CUSA performer Kendall Timmons scored 14 points. Senior forward David Booker and sophomore guard Jordan Callahan each had 11 points, and senior guard Kris Richard added 10 points.
Tulane is led by Timmons with 17.0 points, good for sixth in Conference USA. He is also second in steals (2.0), third in minutes played (35.9), fourth in rebounding (8.5), tenth in field goal percentage (.446) and 12th in assists (3.2). Callahan is second on the team with 13.9 points, while also ranking sixth in C-USA in assists (4.1), ninth in steals (1.4) and 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.377).
Richard is third on team with 11.2 points and is second in rebounding with 6.1 boards. Booker is also scoring 7.8 points.
As a team, Tulane is scoring 69.3 points per game while allowing 65.9. The Green Wave are shooting 43.3-percent from the floor while its opposition is hitting just 45.6-percent of its shots.
From behind the arc, TU is hitting 36.6-percent of its shots, and allowing its opponents to hit just 33.9-percent. Tulane is pulling down 32.1 rebounds, while giving up 33.2.
Head coach Ed Conroy is in his first season at the helm of the Tulane men's basketball program. He has compiled a 13-16 (.632) record as its head coach. In eight years as a head coach, Conroy owns a 103-149 (.409) record.