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Men's Basketball celebrates Thanksgiving in South Dakota with Sanford Pentagon Showcase

Nov. 23, 2017

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Southern Miss men's basketball team, for the second consecutive year, is set to play a holiday tournament on a big stage. The Golden Eagles' slate for the weekend at the Sanford Pentagon Showcase includes games against South Dakota (Friday, 5:30 p.m. CT), Youngstown State (Saturday, 4 p.m. CT) and Northern Colorado (Sunday, 10:30 a.m. CT).

All of the action will air live on Kevin Culhane will also have the radio call for each of the contests while John Cox is with the football team at Marshall. Fans can tune into the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (including Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg/Laurel) and USM Gameday app for Friday and Sunday's games, while Saturday's contest can be found only on WHXB 96.5.

Southern Miss (2-1) has yet to play any of these three teams in its history. The Golden Eagles will also have Thanksgiving dinner in the facility after finishing its practice.

– 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 with the Diamond Head Classic. This year’s team also hits the road for a short trip to South Alabama on Wednesday.

– Southern Miss was victorious, 90-46, on Monday night against Blue Mountain to begin tournament play. Ten Golden Eagles scored in the first half, and it was the largest margin of victory since Dec. 27, 2011.

– While it was not a win, there were many positives to take out of the game at Michigan. The Golden Eagles led the defending Big Ten champion, 33-32, at the break 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). That mark was topped by an 11-for-22 mark on Monday against Blue Mountain.

– Griffin had six double-figure scoring outputs in 62 games at Oklahoma State and has scored 21, 15 and 17 points in his first three games as Golden Eagle. He serves as the team leader in scoring (17.7 ppg), rebounding (7.0 rpg), assists (5.3 pg) and steals (1.7 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).

Anfernee Hampton scored 16 points off the bench in the win over Blue Mountain after not having a field goal in his career as Golden Eagle. He finished 6-for-9 shooting with a 4-for-6 clip from long-range.

Eddie Davis III has been extremely efficient off the bench, making 10 of his 12 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). In the young season, he has shot one three-pointer in 16 minutes, a rate twice that in each of his previous two seasons.

– Opponents this year are out-shooting Southern Miss in three-point attempts, 87-52, but the Golden Eagles have a 43-28 edge in percentage makes.

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