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Men's Basketball hosts Blue Mountain on Monday to begin Sanford Pentagon Showcase

Nov. 19, 2017

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Fresh off a flight to and from Michigan, the Southern Miss men's basketball team will take its home floor again Monday night at 7 p.m. when it takes on Blue Mountain, which tips off the Sanford Pentagon Showcase. The rest of the tournament will take place Friday-Sunday (Sioux Falls, S.D.) against South Dakota, Youngstown State and Northern Colorado.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting SouthernMissTickets.com, calling 1-800-844-TICK, or visiting the pregame box office at Reed Green Coliseum. Fans who cannot make it can catch John Cox's call on CUSA.tv or with the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg/Laurel), which is also available on the Southern Miss Gameday app.

– The four-game, seven-day stretch is also something the team did last season, playing Mississippi State in Jackson on Dec. 19, then flying out at sunrise after a few hours’ stay in a hotel to Hawaii, where it played San Diego State, SFA and Hawaii Dec. 22-25.

– While it was not a win, there were many positives to take out of Thursday’s game at Michigan. The Golden Eagles led the defending Big Ten champion (and Sweet 16 participant), 33-32, at halftime on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Tyree Griffin. Southern Miss shot 54 percent in the first half, the second time in its last four road games it made 50 percent or more in a half.

– The Golden Eagles allowed a manageable 61 points to the Wolverines, including just nine free-throw attempts (fewest since UTEP had nine on Feb. 11). Southern Miss also shot 46 percent from long-range (6-for-13), its best since Nov. 18, 2016 versus Union (8-for-16).

– Griffin played 36-plus minutes in each of his final 10 games of his sophomore season at Oklahoma State (2015-16 season), and this year has played 29 against SUNO and 40 against Michigan. He serves as the team leader in scoring (18 ppg), rebounding (8.5 rpg), assists (3.5 pg) and steals (1.5 pg).

Cortez Edwards’ game at Michigan was a return to his sophomore form, playing 37 minutes and posting a team-high seven rebounds. Last year, he became a starter right before C-USA play and finished No. 5 in the league for minutes-per game. Despite hovering between point and shooting guard, he led the team in rebounding seven times (five games in double-figures).

Tim Rowe had a solid offensive performance against a stout Michigan frontcourt, going 3-for-5 from the field with no turnovers in 22 minutes.

Eddie Davis III has been extremely efficient off the bench, making six of his seven field goal attempts (including 4-for-4 at Michigan). Over the team’s final three wins (at North Texas, vs. FIU and Marshall) of the 2016-17 season, he was 19-for-28 from the field (67.9 percent). He and Kevin Holland are the only two guys left from Doc Sadler’s first season as head coach.

– The only other all-time meeting between Southern Miss and Blue Mountain came on Nov. 29, 2007, and Southern Miss emerged victorious in a 112-75 decision. Six Golden Eagles scored in double-figures, led by R.L. Horton’s 21 points and Jeremy Wise’s 20. The squad shot 61 percent (51-for-84).

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