2-0 Eagles Hit The Road For Murray State
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - After a quick two-game home stand to open the 2003-04 season, Southern Miss hits the road for the first time when the Golden Eagles meet Murray State in a 3 p.m., Saturday game, in Murray, Ky.
The two teams have played five times previous to today's game, with Southern Miss holding a 3-2 edge. Murray State won the first game the two teams played, 77-77, in 1961, took a 1983 game, 64-63, and the Golden Eagles have won the last three, including a 56-54 victory in Hattiesburg last season.
In that game, USM ran out to a 27-19 halftime lead, only to see the visitors outscore Southern Miss 35-29, in the second half. Jasper Johnson led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points, and Dante Stiggers added 10.
The Eagles and Racers both won their opening two games, and Murray State had a Nov. 26, game on its schedule prior to the Southern Miss game. In their first two games, the Racers beat Wagner, 92-68, and West Florida, 94-68.
Through two games, Murray State was averaging 93.0 points a game, and had five players averaging in double figures, with Kelvin Brown leading that group at 18.0 points a game.
Southern Miss owns victories over Alcorn State (79-67) and Texas Southern (77-63). The Eagles are averaging 78.0 points a game, also with five players averaging double-figure points. Jasper Johnson leads that group at 20.5 points a game. Charles Gaines is averaging 13.0 points a game, Jason Forte 11.0, Clement Carter 10.5, and Greg Johnson 10.0
Through two games, Southern Miss has shot the ball considerably better than last season. A year ago, the Eagles finished the season shooting .411, and this year that number stands at .483 on 58-of-120 shooting. The Eagles also have own a healthy edge in rebounding, 42.0-to-32.5.
Following this game, Southern Miss continues a lengthy road trip that has the team playing four straight games on the road. A pair of games in the Winthrop Tournament (Dec. 5-6) in Rock Hill, S.C., continues the trip. The Eagles play Hampton in the opening round.