Eagles End Road Trip, At Arkansas State
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss concludes a four-game road trip with a Saturday game at longtime opponent, Arkansas State. That game is scheduled for 2:05 p.m., CT., in the Convocation Center on the Indians' campus in Jonesboro, Ark.
In the first three games of the road trip, Southern Miss lost at Murray State and then beat Hampton and Samford to win the Winthrop Tournament.
The Golden Eagles currently are 4-1. Arkansas State is 5-1, and fresh off a 64-63 victory at Liberty. The Indians also beat Ole Miss, 74-69, at Ole Miss, in their opening regular season game, and then posted victories over West Alabama (98-57), Harding (87-81) and Sam Houston State (106-87) while losing to Toledo (64-63).
The Eagles and Indians first played in 1955, and Southern Miss leads the series, 14-12. Arkansas State has won the last two games, and seven of the last 10 games. In last year's game, in Hattiesburg, the Eagles made just 17-of-48 field goals (.354), trailed 29-20 at the half, and just never managed to get back in the game in the second half.
Arkansas State currently has four players averaging double-figure points, led by J.J. Montgomery who is at 21.0 points a game and Dewarick Spencer who is a close second, at 20.3 points. The Indians are averaging 82.0 points a game, while giving up 70.2, and are outrebounding the combined opposition by an impressive 38.7-to-31.0 margin.
Through five games, Southern Miss has two players with double-figure averages. Charles Gaines is at 15.8 points a game and Jasper Johnson at 14.8. Gaines also leads the team in rebounding, at 11.0 a game. The Eagles are averaging 70.0 points a game, allowing 68.4, and hold a healthy 37.6-to-31.2 edge in rebounding.
Following Saturday's game, the Eagles return home for Dec. 17 and 22 games, against Georgia Southern and William Carey, respectively, and then will end 2003 play with a Dec. 30 game at Auburn.