Josimar Ayarza looks to build on his second career double-double against McNeese State.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will continue its four-game homestand this Monday, November 22, when it hosts McNeese State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT from Reed Green Coliseum.
This will be the 20th meeting between Southern Miss and McNeese State, and the first since 2008. Southern Miss holds a 12-7 record. In games played in Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles hold a 9-4 advantage. Southern Miss is looking for its second straight victory over the Cowboys.
Southern Miss enters Monday night's game with a 2-0 record after defeating South Alabama, 93-58, last Wednesday in its home-opener. The victory marks the fifth consecutive home opening victory and the tenth-straight non-conference home win for the Eagles.
Southern Miss was led by senior guard R.L. Horton, who had a game-high 25 points. He also connected on 10-of-10 shots and 5-of-7 free throws. Senior forward Josimar Ayarza had his second career double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and senior forward Torye Pelham had a career-high 15 points. Junior guard Angelo Johnson added a career-high 10 rebounds.
Through two games, Horton is second in the conference with 19.5 points. Senior forward Gary Flowers, despite missing the last game, is averaging 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds. Ayarza is averaging 9.5 points and is tied for fifth in C-USA with 8.0 rebounds, and Pelham is averaging 9.0 points.
As a team, the Eagles are scoring 76.5 points a game while giving up just 55.5, good for second in the Conference USA. Southern Miss is connecting on 49.2-percent of its shots, while allowing its opposition to hit a league low 31.3-percent. USM is also tops in rebounding, grabbing 43.0 boards a game.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his seventh season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 97-94 (.508) record during his time as head coach. In 19 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 357-239 (.599).
McNeese State comes into tonight's game with a 2-1 record. After dropping its season-opener, the Cowboys have won their last two games, including a 92-53 victory over Louisiana College, 92-53, Saturday afternoon.
Against Louisiana College, senior guard Stephan Martin came off the bench to lead McNeese State in scoring with 21 points. The Cowboys had four players in double-figures, as senior forward P.J. Alawoya scored 17, sophomore guard Jeremie Mitchell scored 16 and Diego Kapelan pitched in 11. Patrick Richard led the Cowboys with nine rebounds.
Kapelan leads MSU with 17.0 points. Patrick is scoring 14.7 points and pulling down a team-high 7.3 rebounds. Martin is averaging 12.7 points, while Mitchell is scoring 7.7 and Alawoya is scoring 7.0.
As a team, McNeese State is shooting 44.6-percent from the floor while its opposition is hitting 44.7-percent from the floor. From behind the arc, the Cowboys are hitting 45.8-percent of their shots, tops in the Southland Conference, while holding their opponents to just 32.3-percent. However, McNeese is being outrebounded on the year, 41.3-35.0.
Head coach Dave Simmons is in his fifth season at the helm of the McNeese State men's basketball program. He has compiled a 51-72 (.415) record during his tenure as head coach. In seven years, Simmons holds a 78-101 (.436) overall record.
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