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Golden Eagles host crosstown foe William Carey in Saturday afternoon action

Dec. 15, 2017

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Two neighbors will meet again face-to-face on Saturday at 4 p.m., when the Southern Miss men's basketball team hosts the William Carey Crusaders inside Reed Green Coliseum.

The first 150 fans inside the doors will receive an ugly Christmas sweater-style t-shirt, and anyone who brings a toy for Toys for Tots will also receive free admission.

The game will stream on with John Cox on the call. Fans can also tune in through the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg/Laurel), as well as with the USM Gameday app.

– The Golden Eagles (6-4) are playing their final home game of the 2017 calendar year, and it’s been a great run this fall inside Reed Green Coliseum. All three contests have been double-digit wins, most recently an 89-71 dismantling of defending Sun Belt champion Troy.

– Southern Miss is coming off a 69-54 win at Alabama A&M, which featured a 44-23 halftime lead. Cortez Edwards had his third 20-point game of the season (fifth of career) and added six rebounds and a career-high three blocks. Tyree Griffin (13 points), Eddie Davis III (10) and Kevin Holland (10) also contributed to the cause.

– Edwards is averaging 18.5 ppg over his last eight outings, and his 16.9 ppg ranks ninth in the league. He is also tied for the team lead in blocks with Tim Rowe. Edwards has also played 36-plus minutes over each of the last seven games, including three consecutive games in as many days in the South Dakota tournament, to rank fifth in C-USA (34.8 mpg).

– Holland entered the season with multiple three-pointers in only seven of his first 60-career games. This season, he ranks second in C-USA with a 52.4 percent clip on the season (22-for-42). Nobody else in the top-six of the league has more than 15 made shots.

Dominic Magee has continued to flourish in all facets of his game, from his jumpers to his dunks and most recently, his rebounding. Magee averaged just 2.1 rebounds per game at Grand Canyon in the 2015-16 season, and this year is the Golden Eagles’ leader in that category. His best overall game came against Troy last Sunday, knocking down his first four shot attempts en route to a 27-point showing.

– Free-throws have been a major factor of the team’s three-game winning streak. Southern Miss has shot 82 percent or better in each of those contests, including a 31-13 attempts margin over Rust and Troy. Prior to the winning streak, the team’s season-high was 67 percent.

– Ball security has been an incredible strength for the Golden Eagles this year, so much that their 1.76 assist-turnover ratio ranks No. 3 nationally, behind only Davidson and Saint Mary’s. In fact, it’s also a category that Southern Miss has improved in during each of Doc Sadler’s four years at the helm, and this is the first season it’s been above 1.00. The team held a 12-4 ratio in Wednesday’s win, and also moved up to No. 4 nationally with just 9.0 turnovers per game.

– The William Carey series began in 2003, and the two squads have faced 10 times since then (not including a Southern Miss exhibition victory last year). Head coach Steve Knight is a 2002 Southern Miss M-Club Hall of Fame inductee, having enjoyed a successful baseball career at the school that included a few years in the minors. He is also a 2015 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame honoree.

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