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Eagles Open C-USA Tourney Against Saint Louis
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles will open Conference USA tournament play against a familiar opponent in league postseason events, the Saint Louis Billikens.
The No. 10 seeded Golden Eagles will meet No. 7 Saint Louis Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. With this opening round game, Southern Miss, in the nine-year history of Conference USA and the eight times the Golden Eagles have been in the tourney, will have opened the event against the Billikens four times and played SLU six times.
Though Southern Miss leads the series with Saint Louis, 9-7, the Billikens have won four of the five games the two teams have played in C-USA tournaments.
Saint Louis earned the No. 7 spot with a near-miraculous victory over Houston to close the regular season. Southern Miss earned its way in with its six league victories, but closed the regular season with a 63-50 loss to East Carolina.
Saint Louis brings a 16-11 record into the game, has won four of its last six games and owns an early-season 56-55 win over the Golden Eagles, in St. Louis. In that game, the Billikens led 35-29, Southern Miss then led as late as the 9:00 mark but SLU came back to take the lead and the victory when a late shot by USM missed the mark.
Greg and Jasper Johnson had 15 and 14 points respectively for the Eagles. Reggie Bryant led SLU with 20
The Billikens bring three double-digit scorers into the game, led by Bryant's 16.9 points a game.
For Southern Miss, Charles Gaines continues to lead the way at 15.9 points and a league-best 10.3 rebounds a game.
Jasper Johnson is the only other USM player in double figures, at 12.6 points a game.