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Men's Hoops Closes Exhibition Play against Crosstown Rival William Carey

Maurice Bolden leads the Golden Eagles into their final exhibition against William Carey.

Nov. 7, 2011

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will close its exhibition season this Tuesday, Nov. 8, when it hosts crosstown rival William Carey. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from Reed Green Coliseum.

This will be the second straight year that the teams will meet in exhibition play. Last year, the Golden Eagles defeated William Carey, 87-58. Southern Miss holds a perfect 6-0 record over the Crusaders in regular season action.

Southern Miss is 33-6 all-time in exhibition games, and has won the last ten.

The Golden Eagles are coming off an 88-53 victory over Loyola (N.O.) in their opening exhibition game last Thursday. Jonathan Mills led all players with a double-double, scoring 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting while pulling down 13 rebounds, including 10 offensive. Maurice Bolden had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Torye Pelham contributed 10 points and nine boards. Neil Watson had 10 points, and Keith DeWitt added nine rebounds.

The 2011-12 edition of the Southern Miss basketball team returns just two starters and six letterwinners from last year's squad that went 22-10.

Heading the list of returnees is redshirt senior Angelo Johnson. Johnson will run the point for the Eagles, but can also play the two-guard. The Minneapolis, Minn. native has started 64 of 66 games in his career. Johnson is the team's leading returning scorer, averaging 7.5 points and 4.1 assists. He also led Conference USA with a 3.1 assist/turnover ratio.

Redshirt senior Maurice Bolden will see time at guard and small forward. Bolden started 12 games last year, averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds, good for third on the team. Junior LaShay Page returns, having played in 27 games last year, starting one. He averaged 6.2 points and connected on 34-percent from behind the arc. Redshirt freshman Cedric Jenkins also returns after seeing time in just four games.

Redshirt senior Torye Pelham is the Golden Eagles leading returning forward. Pelham averaged 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds through the first seven games before missing the rest of the season due to a broken wrist. Senior Ahyaro Phillips also returns to the squad. Phillips played in 25 games last year, starting two. He averaged 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds last year while playing 8.9 minutes a game.

Six newcomers join the Golden Eagles this year. Junior college transfers Neil Watson (Kansas City, Kan./Coffeyville CC), Rashard McGill (Havana, Fla./Tallahassee CC), Jonathan Mills (Chicago, Ill./College of Eastern Utah) and Keith DeWitt (High Point, N.C./Chipola JC) will be joined by freshman Christian Robbins (Foxworth, Miss.) and walk-on Richard Carlisle (Meridian, Miss.).

Head coach Larry Eustachy enters his eighth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 117-104 (.529) record during his time as head coach. In 20 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 377-249 (.602).

William Carey enters tonight's game looking for its first victory of the season. The Crusaders dropped both games of the Q Kelly Classic, falling 72-68, to the College of Coastal Georgia before dropping a 60-58 decision to Voorhees College.

Entering his 30th season at the helm of William Carey men's basketball, head coach Steve Knight faces one of his biggest challenges. Last season the Crusaders finished at 18-12 and 8-4 in SSAC play to grab a share of the SSAC West Division title.

Gone from last year's team are over 50 points and 25 rebounds per game from the likes of All-SSAC guard Drew Meyerchick, SSAC Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Spann, starters Jonathan Woodland and Julius Blanks, and reserves Kevin Branch and Verice Cloyd.

Knight returns only one starter from last year in high flying forward Jamal Doss. Doss averaged 7.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season. Doss also finished third in the country with 78 blocked shots and fourth with 2.69 blocks per game. Also back for the Crusaders are Jaron Edwards, Stefan Sartori, Bassainio Green, Donzedrick Smith, and Fernando Garcia.

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