Second-Seeded Southern Miss Heads to Conference USA Tournament

Jonathan Mills

March 13, 2013

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss enters the 2013 Conference USA Tournament as the No. 2 seed. They will face the winner of the No. 7 UAB/No. 10 SMU game on Thursday, March 14. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT and will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

The Last Meeting
Southern Miss79  
February 2, 2013
Birmingham, Ala.
Watson Leads Southern Miss Past UAB, 79-75
Southern Miss placed four players in double-figures as it held on to defeat UAB, 79-75, Saturday night at Bartow Arena.

Southern Miss comes into the Conference USA Tournament with a 23-8 record, 12-4 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 70-62 victory over UCF in their regular season finale on Saturday.

Senior guard Dwayne Davis scored 34 points to lead Southern Miss. It is the second straight game that Davis has scored 30 points, the first Golden Eagle to do that since Charles Gaines in 2002. He was 9-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-7 from three, and was a perfect 12-of-12 from the free throw line. Senior guard Rashard McGill scored 10 points and senior forward Jonathan Mills added nine rebounds.

Davis is leading the team with 15.9 points, which is ninth in Conference USA. He is also pulling down 4.4 rebounds and is sixth in the league in free throw percentage, hitting 80.6% and seventh in the league in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 43.4%. Junior guard Jerrold Brooks is second on the team with 10.5 points. Junior guard Neil Watson is averaging 9.5 points and is fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.464), fifth in assists (4.9) and sixth in steals (1.7). Mills is scoring 9.2 points and grabbing a team-high 7.4 boards a game, including 3.4 offensive rebounds per game, which is second in C-USA. He is also seventh in the league in field goal percentage (.534).

Southern Miss is scoring 73.7 points per game but allowing just 62.0, which is second in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are shooting 48.0-percent from the floor, which leads the league, while allowing its opponents to just 40.4-percent. The Golden Eagles lead C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (.387) and are fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.326). Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.5-to-29.3. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league and are third in the country in steals with 10.4.

Head coach Donnie Tyndall is in his first season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. Tyndall is 23-8 (.742) as head coach of the Golden Eagles. He has compiled a 137-93 (.596) record in seven years as a head coach.

UAB enters the Conference USA Tournament with a 15-16 record, 7-9 in Conference USA. The Blazers, who had won their previous four games, have dropped their last two after falling at 20th-ranked Memphis, 86-71.

Junior forward Jordan Swing led the team with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Rod Rucker had 16 points and six rebounds and junior guard Quincy Taylor scored 12 points. Junior guard Robert Williams added eight boards.

Rucker leads UAB with 14.5 points and 8.3 rebounds, which is sixth in Conference USA. Swing is scoring 14.1 points while pulling down 5.7 boards. He is also eighth in the league in free throw percentage, connecting on 80.2-percent from the line. Junior center Fahro Alihodzic is adding 9.9 points and Williams is grabbing 6.1 rebounds. Senior guard Terence Jones is eighth in the conference in assists (3.7).

As a team, the Blazers are scoring 72.2 points per game while allowing 71.5. UAB is connecting on 43.5% from the field, but allowing the opposition to connect on 44.3%. From three-point distance, the Blazers are connecting on 33.6%, and are allowing 35.4-percent. UAB is outrebounding its opponents, 37.2-to-34.9. The Knights are also second in the league in free throw percentage (.729) and third in assists (16.3).

Head coach Jerod Haase is in his first season at the helm of the UAB men's basketball program. Haase is 15-16 (.484) as head coach of the Blazers.

Southern Miss and UAB have met 40 times in a series that dates back to 1979. The Blazers hold a 24-16 advantage, but Southern Miss has won five of the last seven meetings. On neutral courts, the Blazers hold a 2-1 lead. The teams have met twice before in the Conference USA Tournament, with both teams winning once. Southern Miss swept the season-series this year, winning 74-59 in Hattiesburg and 79-75 in Birmingham.

SMU enters the Conference USA Tournament with a 15-16 record, 5-11 in Conference USA. The Mustangs have lost four of their last six games after falling, 76-63, to UTEP last Saturday night.

Sophomore center Cannen Cunningham led SMU with 15 points and five rebounds. Sophomore guard Ryan Manuel scored 14 points and junior guard Nick Russell scored 10. Junior forward Shawn Williams added a team-high six rebounds.

SMU is led by Russell with 14.2 points. He is also second in Conference USA in minutes played (35.8) and seventh in assists with 4.4. Sophomore guard Jalen Jones is scoring 14.1 points. He is also eighth in the league in rebounding (7.6), including third in offensive boards (3.3), and 10th in field goal percentage (.508). Manuel is scoring 12.4 points and is fifth in C-USA in free throw percentage (.813). Cunningham is scoring 9.3 points on 50.7-percent shooting. He is also third in the league in blocks (1.9).

As a team, the Mustangs are scoring 64.9 points per game, but are allowing just 63.0, which is third in the league. The Mustangs are shooting 45.4-percent from the floor while allowing their opponents to connect on just 39.7-percent, which leads Conference USA. SMU is pulling down 33.7boards per game, while allowing 31.1. SMU is also connecting on 34.5-percent of its three-point attempts while holding its opposition to 34.1%. The Mustangs also lead the league in free throw percentage (.745).

Head coach Larry Brown is in his first season at the helm of the SMU men's basketball program. Brown is 15-16 (.484) as head coach of the Mustangs. He has compiled a 192-77 (.714) record in eight years as a head coach.

Southern Miss and SMU have met just 11 times in a series that dates back to 1950. The Golden Eagles hold a 7-4 advantage, including having won the last two. Southern Miss won the only previous meeting in the Conference USA Tournament, 59-52, in 2007. Earlier this year, Southern Miss won, 74-40, in Dallas.

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