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Men's Basketball Opens Exhibition Tilt Friday Night Against Loyola (N.O.)

Oct. 31, 2007

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss opens its 2007-08 men's basketball exhibition slate Friday night, November 2 at 7:00 p.m. (CT) when they host Loyola (N.O.) at Reed Green Coliseum.

Tickets for the contest are $5.

After two weeks of practicing against each other in preseason workouts, the Golden Eagles are looking forward to facing outside competition.

Southern Miss returns four starters off of last year's squad, led by Conference USA Freshman of the Year and Preseason All-Conference selection Jeremy Wise. The sophomore led the team with 17.5 points per game, while also averaging 3.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists.

All-Freshmen Team member Sai'Quon Stone also returns to this year's squad. The sophomore tallied 10.3 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

Junior Courtney Beasley will be looked on to take a leadership role, as one of only four upperclassmen on the squad. Last year, the Huntsville, Ala. native averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.

Five freshmen join this year's team, including guard Kevin Branch (LaPlace, La.), forward Brandon Cooks (Thibodaux, La.), guard R.L. Horton (Jackson, Miss.), guard Wayne Turner (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and center Gustavo Lino (Sao Paulo, Brazil).

Lino was expected to vie for a starting spot midway through the season, but will now miss the 2007-08 campaign after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament at the start of fall practice.

Following the Loyola game, the Golden Eagles finish their exhibition slate Nov. 8 when they face Lithuania Academy in a 7 p.m. (CT) contest. Tickets can be purchased at the Southern Miss Athletics Ticket Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by calling 1-800-844-TICK.

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