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Top-Seed Southern Miss Hosts Charleston Southern in NIT First Round Action

Neil Watson

Neil Watson

March 19, 2013

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss enters the 2013 National Invitation Tournament as one of four No. 1 seeds. It will face No. 8 Charleston Southern this Wednesday, March 20, at Reed Green Coliseum. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. CT and will be shown on ESPN3.com.

Southern Miss will be making its ninth appearance in the National Invitation Tournament, and the first since 2001. The Golden Eagles were one of four one-seeds in the tournament. Southern Miss is 6-7 all-time in the NIT, but has lost its last five games. In fact, Southern Miss is looking for its first postseason victory since 1988, a span of nine games.

Southern Miss and Charleston Southern will be meeting for the first time in school history.

Southern Miss comes into the NIT with a 25-9 record. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 91-79, double-overtime loss to Memphis in the Conference USA Championship Game.

Junior forward Daveon Boardingham led Southern Miss with 19 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Dwayne Davis scored 16 points and senior forward Jonathan Mills recorded his second straight double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 17 boards. Junior guards Neil Watson and Jerrold Brooks added 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Davis is leading the team with 16.4 points, which is sixth in Conference USA. He is also pulling down 4.3 rebounds and is sixth in the league in three point field goal percentage, hitting 43.8% and seventh in the league in free throw percentage, connecting on 80.0%. Brooks is second on the team with 10.6 points. Watson is averaging 9.9 points and is third in three-point field goal percentage (.458), fourth in assists (4.9) and fifth in steals (1.7). Mills is scoring 9.2 points and is grabbing 7.8 boards a game, which is seventh in the conference, including 3.5 offensive rebounds per game, which is second in C-USA. He is also ninth in the league in field goal percentage (.521).

Southern Miss is scoring 74.4 points per game but allowing just 63.1, which is third in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles are shooting 48.3-percent from the floor, which leads the league, while allowing their opponents to hit just 41.0-percent. The Golden Eagles lead C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (.387) and are third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.329). Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 35.6-to-29.5. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league and are third in the country in steals with 9.9.

Head coach Donnie Tyndall is in his first season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. Tyndall is 25-9 (.735) as head coach of the Golden Eagles. He has compiled a 139-94 (.597) record in seven years as a head coach.

Charleston Southern enters the NIT with a 19-12 record. The Buccaneers are coming off an 87-76 defeat at the hands Liberty in the Big South Conference Championship Game

Sophomore guard Saah Nimley led CSU with 18 points. Senior guard Jeremy Sexton scored 17 and sophomore guard Arlon Harper had 14. Senior forward Mathiang Muo and junior guard Sheldon Strickland added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Nimley, who was named First Team All-Big South, is sixth in the league with 15.6 points while pulling down 5.3 rebounds. He is also fourth in assists (5.0) and three-pointers made (2.4) and eighth in minutes played (33.0). Harper was named Second Team All-Big South. He is eighth in the conference with 15.2 points and field goal percentage (.461). He is also fourth in the Big South with 1.9 steals. Muo is averaging 11.0 points and is fourth in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.424). Junior center Alllie Fullah is third in the Big South in blocks (1.4) and sophomore forward Paul Gombwer leads CSU with 6.3 rebounds.

As a team, the Buccaneers are second in the Big South in scoring with 73.9 points per game while allowing just 66.6. CSU is connecting on 42.4% from the field, but is holding the opposition to just 41.2%, which is third in the league. Charleston Southern is second in the league in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 35.8%, and is allowing just 33.5%. The Bucs are also outrebounding its opponents, 39.4-to-35.4 and lead the conference is three-pointers made (9.1)

Head coach Barclay Radebaugh is in his eighth season at the helm of the Charleston Southern men's basketball program. Radebaugh is 107-135 (.442) as head coach of the Buccaneers. He has compiled a 128-143 (.478) record in nine years as a head coach.

2013 NIT | Opening Round (Charleston Southern) | Wednesday, March 20
8:15 p.m. | Hattiesburg, Mississippi | Reed Green Coliseum (8,095)
TV: ESPN3.com | Tickets: SouthernMissTickets.com

2013 NIT

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