Eagles Host West Alabama In Final Exhibition
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss continues its 2003-04 season with the Golden Eagles' second of two exhibition games, this one against West Alabama, Tuesday night, Nov. 11, at 7 o'clock.
Most Southern Miss fans probably will better remember West Alabama as either Livingston or Livingston State. The two teams have played just once previous to tonight's game, and that was in the 1951-52 season, in a game won by Southern Miss, 89-48. The game was a first-round match in the NAIA District 19 playoffs, and was played in the Sports Arena on the Southern Miss campus.
The game will be the first (and only) exhibition game of the season for the visitors, who will open their regular season Nov. 15, at Christian Brothers in Memphis, Tenn.
Southern Miss is coming off a 79-60 loss to a good Global Sports team last week, and will be trying to correct mistakes from that game as the Eagles prepare for a Nov. 21, regular-season opener against Alcorn State. In the game against Global, Southern Miss managed to shoot just .317 (20-of-63) from the field, while the visitors hit on 28-of-54 (.519) field goals.
Jasper Johnson led Southern Miss with 17 points, and Charles Gaines got into double figures with 10. Johnson also led all rebounders in the game with nine.
West Alabama is coming off a 7-20, 2002-03 season, and has only three players back off last year's roster. The top returning scorer is senior guard Cadarrall Eddings, who averaged 6.7 points a game.
Under the direction of current Head Coach James Green, Southern Miss now is 11-3 in preseason games, after the loss to Global.
Southern Miss goes into the 2003-04 season with four starters returning from last year's 13-16 team that went two games deep into the C-USA Tournament, including a tournament-opening 63-61 victory over perennial C-USA and national powerhouse, Cincinnati.
In addition, three other lettermen return, and those seven players bring 58.1 points and 28.0 rebounds with them. That group is led by Gaines, who topped last year's squad in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (9.6).