Dec. 14, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will face Louisiana-Lafayette for the second time this year, hosting the Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday night, Dec. 15. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT at Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss and Louisiana-Lafayette will meet for the 69th time, with the Golden Eagles holding a 39-29 advantage. In Hattiesburg, the Golden Eagles hold a 22-9 lead. The Black and Gold have won five of the last six meetings and 14 of the last 16.
This will be the second meeting of the year between the two schools, as Southern Miss won, 79-72, in Lafayette on Nov. 14 in both team's first game of the year. R.L. Horton led all scorers with 20 points, and Maurice Bolden recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Flowers also reached double-digits, scoring 12 points and pulling down eight boards.
Southern Miss enters Tuesday night's game with a 6-1 record after defeating South Alabama, 66-54, last Saturday night at the Mitchell Center.
Junior forward Gary Flowers led the way for the Golden Eagles, recording his first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Angelo Johnson tied a season-high with 16 points. Senior guard Buchi Awaji had a career day, scoring 13 points, grabbing five rebounds and recording five steals.
Flowers is tied for ninth in Conference USA with 15.0 points. He is fourth in field goal percentage, connecting on 55.4-percent of his shots, fourth in rebounding with 8.1 boards per game and fifth in blocks (1.9).
Bolden is second on the team with 13.9 points per game and 6.7 rebounds. He is also third in the league in free throw percentage, hitting 85.4-percentage from the line. Johnson and junior R.L. Horton are also contributing 10.0 points apiece.
As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 75.3 points per game, while allowing 63.6. The Golden Eagles are third in the conference in rebounding, pulling down 40.0 boards per game, while giving up just 29.1 to the opposition, tops in C-USA. The Black and Gold also lead the league in three-point percentage, hitting 39.4-percent from behind the arc, and are third in field goal percentage, connecting on 47.2-percent of their shots.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his sixth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled an 81-81 (.500) record during his time as head coach. In 18 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 341-226 (.601).
Louisiana-Lafayette enters Tuesday night's contest with a 3-4 record, having won its last two games. The Ragin' Cajuns are coming off an 81-74 victory over Florida Atlantic in their Sun Belt Conference opener. Senior forward Tyren Johnson posted a game-high 23 points to lead UL. Junior guard Travis Bureau added 19 points and a team-high four assists.
Johnson leads Louisiana-Lafayette with 16.4 points and 9.4 rebounds, which is sixth and second in the Sun Belt Conference, respectively. Senior guard Randell Daigle is scoring 11.3 points, with senior forward Courtney Wallace adding 10.5. Junior guard Chris Gradnigo and Bureau are contributing 10.1 and 10.0 points, respectively.
As a team, Louisiana-Lafayette is averaging 74.0 points per game, while giving up 71.4. The Ragin' Cajuns are connecting on 44.6-percent of its shots while holding the opposition to 42.5-percent.
Head coach Robert Lee is in his sixth season at the helm of the Louisiana-Lafayette men's basketball program, compiling a 53-79 (.402) record during his tenure as head coach.