Dec. 21, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will close out a six-game road trip this week when it takes part in the inaugural Cancun Governor's Cup in Cancun, Mexico, Dec. 22-24.. The Golden Eagles will face East Tennessee State this Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 1:30 p.m. CT in the first round.
Joining Southern Miss and ETSU are Appalachian State, Colorado State, Northeastern, Ole Miss, Saint Louis and Texas State.
Southern Miss and East Tennessee State will meet for the 12th time overall, but the first since 1992. The Golden Eagles hold a 7-4 advantage. Southern Miss holds a 2-0 advantage in neutral site games.
Southern Miss enters the Cancun Governor's Cup with a 7-1 record after defeating California, 80-78, last Sunday afternoon.
Southern Miss was led by senior Gary Flowers, who had a game-high of 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Senior Josimar Ayarza added a season-high tying 18 points and seven rebounds. Freshman D.J. Newbill added nine points and six rebounds.
Flowers currently leads Conference USA with 21.7 points. He is also second in blocks (1.9) and three-point field goal percentage (.500). The Dallas, Texas native is also sixth in field goal percentage (.528) and tenth in rebounding (6.4). Horton is tied for 15th in the league with 13.8 points. Ayarza is scoring 12.4 points per game and is tied for 12th in C-USA with 6.3 rebounds. Freshman D.J. Newbill is averaging 10.0 points and is eighth in the league with 7.5 rebounds. Johnson is adding 6.8 points and is second in the league with 5.5 assists while pulling down 5.3 rebounds.
As a team, the Eagles are ninth in the country in scoring (83.6 ppg) while giving up 63.5 points. Southern Miss is connecting on 46.2-percent of its shots, while allowing its opposition to hit just 36.3-percent, which is ninth in the NCAA. The Black and Gold are also leading the country with 45.4 rebounds, while recording 14.5 assists and 4.6 blocks.
Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his seventh season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 102-95 (.518) record during his time as head coach. In 19 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 362-240 (.601).
East Tennessee State comes into the Cancun Governor's Cup with a 4-5 record. The Buccaneers have dropped three of their last four games after falling at Ole Miss, 71-50, last Saturday.
Senior guard Mike Smith led ETSU with 18 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Isiah Brown scored 12 points and had five rebounds, while senior guard Justin Tubbs added nine points and eight boards.
East Tennessee State is led by Smith, who is averaging a team-leading 15.9 points while pulling down 6.4 rebounds. Senior guard Micah Williams is second on the team with 11.7 points. Brown is scoring 11.2 points and is grabbing a team-high 6.8 rebounds.
As a team, the Buccaneers are scoring 64.9 points while allowing 65.9. ETSU is shooting 42.1-percent from the floor while its opposition is hitting 40.3-percent of its shots. From behind the arc, Cal is hitting just 31.1-percent of its shots, while their opposition is dropping in 32.4-percent. The Bears are outrebounding their opponents 38.7-to-36.1.
Head coach Murray Bartow is in his ninth season at the helm of the East Tennessee State men's basketball program. He has compiled a 142-92 (.607) record during his tenure as head coach. In 14 seasons overall, Bartow is 245-175 (.583).
The Golden Eagles will face either Northeastern or Saint Louis Thursday afternoon. Should Southern Miss win its opening round game, their remaining two games will be televised, including the second round game on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m. the following day.