Men's Basketball begins C-USA slate Thursday at Marshall
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss is set to fly the friendly skies for the first time of the 2017-18 Conference USA season, taking on Marshall at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday night.
Live streaming of the contest can be found on CUSA.tv, while John Cox, the Voice of the Golden Eagles, will have the call on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network (Rock 104.5 in Hattiesburg/Laurel). The Black and Gold will conclude the trip with a 2 p.m. CT matchup at WKU on Saturday.
– Last year’s meeting between these teams saw Southern Miss pull out a 91-76 victory, ending the game on a 38-15 run. It was a 14-1 spurt after an eight-point, second-half deficit that did the trick. Of the five Golden Eagle scorers in double-figures, it was Quinton Campbell (24 points), Eddie Davis III (17) and Cortez Edwards (16) who led the way. The Herd’s potent offense was held to 32.6 percent shooting in the second half as well.
– Davis III, playing his second full season after suffering serious injuries early in the previous two campaigns, is having his most efficient year yet. He is up to 67.4 percent shooting, and he has started six consecutive games. Davis has taken far fewer three-point attempts than the previous season (one per 9.2 minutes compared to one ever 19 minutes), and has even doubled his made percentage (.429 from .230).
– The hostile road environment in Huntington will be nothing new for Tyree Griffin, who out of eight games away from Hattiesburg this season, has been held to fewer than five assists only once. In his final game at Oklahoma State as a sophomore (2015-16), he had 10 dimes against K-State in the Big 12 Tournament and just weeks before tallied a career-high 12 at No. 2 Kansas.
– D’Angelo Richardson has also provided much assistance in the backcourt. The walk-on guard and is Southern Miss’ only senior, and he is averaging 7.5 more minutes per game (22.5) this season while already coming within four steals of matching his junior year total.
– Last weekend, the Golden Eagles mimicked C-USA play with a Thursday-Saturday swing that was about as challenging as it gets. It began with a defeat at No. 24 Florida State and finished with a hard-fought battle in Jackson against (RV) Mississippi State, with those two teams combining for just two losses on the season.
– Against the Bulldogs, Southern Miss rallied from a nine-point, second-half deficit to lead by four with six minutes to go. Cortez Edwards was phenomenal with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting (3-for-4 from deep) in the second half. It was his fifth 20-point game of the season and seventh of his career.
– The Golden Eagles rank seventh in the country for fewest turnovers per game (9.7) and ninth in assist-turnover margin (1.57). Florida State is the only opponent that has won the turnover battle.
– Marshall is the first team besides LA Tech for the Golden Eagles to play in a C-USA opener in Doc Sadler’s four years at the helm.
– The Herd enter the game with the nation’s No. 11-scoring offense (89.2 ppg). The Herd also possess a diverse defense that leads C-USA in blocks (6.3 pg) but last in three-point defense. Jon Elmore currently leads the league with 23.7 points and 7.4 assists per game. Ajdin Penava is at the top in rebounding (9.8 pg) and blocks (4.8 pg) while his 19.1 ppg ranks fourth.