Dec. 27, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
Southern Miss returns home for its final non-conference game of 2006 at Reed Green Coliseum when they host McNeese State, 7:30 p.m., on Thursday.
The Golden Eagles enter the contest with an 8-2 mark and have won nine-straight games at home dating back to last season. The home streak includes all eight victories at Green Coliseum this season and the finale last season - a 74-56 triumph over East Carolina. The last time Southern Miss won nine straight at home was the 2000-01 campaign, when that club won its first nine games at Green Coliseum.
The duo of freshman Jeremy Wise (Jackson, Miss.) and sophomore Courtney Beasley (Huntsville, Ala.) continue to lead the Golden Eagles in scoring. Wise, who has scored in double figures eight times, leads the team at 15.6 points per contest, which also ranks seventh in Conference USA. Beasley holds a 10.6 scoring average, which ranks No. 24 in C-USA.
Freshman Jarvis Hill (Starkville, Miss.), who tallied a game-high 19 points at Bradley, on Dec. 23, is third at 9.6 points per tilt.
The Golden Eagles, which shot a season-best 64.9 percent as a team from the floor at Bradley, have hit at least 50 percent of their shots in each of the last two games and three of the last four. Over the last two affairs, they are converting 60.7 percent (51-of-84).
The Cowboys, who enter the game with a 5-7 record and winners in three of their last five games, are led by junior post player Jarvis Bradley, who has team highs of 14.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Junior John Ford is next for MSU at 12.3 points per game.
MSU, which posted a victory over UL Lafayette, 68-63, in its last outing, also has victories over Louisiana College (89-60), Texas College (77-53), Mississippi Valley State (61-44) and UALR (60-46), but have dropped games to Florida State (85-65), SMU (70-54), Illinois State (67-50), Louisiana Tech (59-50), LSU (91-57), Mississippi State (89-63) and MVSU (76-45).
This will be the 17th meeting between the schools with the Golden Eagles holding a 10-6 advantage in the series. Southern Miss has won eight of the last 10 games in the series, which dates back to the 1957-58 campaign. The Cowboys won an 87-82 overtime thriller at Green Coliseum last season.
The Golden Eagles take the rest of 2006 off, before returning to action here, Tuesday, Jan. 2, against Southeastern Conference-foe Auburn. The game is a 6 p.m., tipoff and will be broadcast live on CSS - Channel 25 on Comcast in the Hattiesburg area.
For ticket information, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 1-800-844-TICK or 601-266-5418. Tickets also can be purchased online by logging on to www.SouthernMiss.com.