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Golden Eagles return home to face Rust on Sunday

Dec. 2, 2017

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- It's back to the friendly confines of Reed Green Coliseum for the Southern Miss men's basketball team after four consecutive games on the road, over a course of six days. The Golden Eagles host Rust College at 2 p.m. Sunday, presented by Salvation Army.

Fans who bring three or more cans to the coliseum box office can receive a complimentary ticket to the game. It will also be First Responders Day, where personnel can receive one free ticket and request additional ones at a discounted rate.

Southern Miss (3-4) and Rust (1-8) have never played each other. The Bearcats fell to Alcorn State on Friday, 89-50.

– Southern Miss’ fourth game in six days was unkind in Mobile, as the Golden Eagles fell 69-58 to South Alabama. The squad overcame a 25-point, first-half deficit to get within 13 at the four-minute mark. The 39-29 second-half outscoring was the team’s best against a D1 team since Feb. 23 at Rice (38-27).

– The most remarkable thing about the Golden Eagles’ early season has been its excellence in not turning the ball over. They moved up to No. 13 nationally in fewest per game (10.3) after having just seven on Wednesday. The team has had a positive assist-turnover ratio for five consecutive contests, and also had just 10 turnovers at defending Big Ten champ Michigan (Nov. 16).

– The Golden Eagles have also managed to take more shots than their opponent in every game except for the season opener. Southern Miss’ 43.3 percent shooting from the field is also the best of any of Doc Sadler’s four seasons at the school (the 2014-15 team had a 43.0 percent clip).

Kevin Holland maintained his spot atop the C-USA leaderboard for three-point percentage, going 2-for-5 on Wednesday to sit at 56.5 percent for the season (13-for-23).

Dominic Magee played a career-high 30 minutes on Wednesday, off the bench no less. He ended with team-highs of 16 points and nine rebounds, with the latter also being a personal-best. It was his highest scoring output since his collegiate debut in the 2015-16 season for Grand Canyon (29 points versus Omaha).

Eddie Davis III, who started 11 games last season, has embraced a whole new role with his best-shooting season in four years as a Golden Eagle. He is shooting at a blistering 16-for-22 pace on the season after going 3-for-4 in 11 minutes at South Alabama. Davis has also taken only two three-pointers in 96 minutes after averaging one every nine minutes last season.

Tyree Griffin has been held to fewer than five assists just once this season, and is leading the team in minutes (34.9), scoring (14.4), assists (5.6) and rebounding (5.7). Cortez Edwards has been equally active this season, especially over the recent four-game stretch. He was on the bench for just seven minutes during that time, and has scored 18, 18, 20 and 14 points in order. FIU and Marshall are the only other C-USA schools with two players in the top-10.

Anfernee Hampton made his first collegiate start on Wednesday, and it was the third lineup in seven games for Southern Miss. Hampton is shooting 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) on the season, averaging 6.5 ppg.

– This is the second time in the Doc Sadler era (2015-16) that Southern Miss had just two home games in November.

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