Dec. 26, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team closes its four-game road trip this Saturday, December 28, at Rhode Island. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Southern Miss and Rhode Island.
Southern Miss enters the game with an 11-2 record. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 74-60 victory over UALR in the Championship Game of the BVI Tropical Shootout last Saturday.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 11.9 points. He also leads Conference USA in free throw percentage, connecting on 90.2-percent from the charity stripe while also adding 4.1 assists. Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.9 points per game. He is pulling down 3.8 rebounds per game and is tied for sixth in Conference USA in field goal percentage, connecting on 60.8-percent from the floor. Senior forward Michael Craig is adding 9.7 points and a team-high 7.0 boards. Junior forward Aaron Brown is scoring 9.5 points and senior guard Jerrold Brooks is averaging 8.9 points.
Southern Miss is averaging 73.4 points per game and is leading C-USA by allowing just 63.0. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 47.7% from the field and 34.0% from three while allowing just 42.6% from the floor and 33.2% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 34.2-to-29.6 and is second in the league with 9.5 steals per game.
Rhode Island enters today's game with a 7-5 record. The Rams snapped a three-game losing streak last Sunday when they defeated New Hampshire, 62-45.
Senior guard Xavier Munford leads URI with 14.8 points. Junior forward Gilvydas Biruta is scoring 10.9 points and pulling down a team-high 6.5 rebounds. He is ninth in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (.533). Freshman guard E.C. Matthews is scoring 10.2 points per game and grabbing 4.1 boards
Rhode Island is averaging 67.8 points while allowing 66.3 points. URI is connecting on just 43.0-percent from the floor and 28.5% from three while allowing 44.1-percent from the field and 27.7-percent from three, which is third in the Atlantic 10. The Rams are outrebounding the opposition, 37.7-to-32.2 per game.
Head coach Dan Hurley is in his second year as the head of the Rhode Island program, where he has a 15-26 (.366) record. In four years as a head coach, Hurley is 53-49 (.520).