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December 22, 2011

Eagles host South Florida in hoops tonight

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will begin a three-game homestand this Thursday, Dec. 22nd, when it hosts former Conference USA rival USF. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

This will be the 29th meeting between Southern Miss and USF. The Golden Eagles hold the all-time series lead, 16-12. In games played in Hattiesburg, USM holds an 11-2 advantage. This will be the first game in Hattiesburg since USF left Conference USA for the Big East following the 2004-05 season.

Southern Miss enters Thursday night's contest with a 9-2 record. The Golden Eagles are coming off a thrilling 64-61 victory at Arizona State.

Darnell Dodson, whose three-pointer at the buzzer won the game for the Golden Eagles, scored a game-high 17 points, all in the second half, in 15 minutes. LaShay Page scored 14 points, also all in the second half, and had a career-high six rebounds. Neil Watson added 10 points.

Page leads the Black and Gold with 14.7 points, good for 10ty-place in Conference USA. He is second in the league in three-pointers made (3.0) and is seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.379).

Johnson is second on the team with 12.6 points. He is also fifth in the league in assists (3.7) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8). Maurice Bolden is scoring 11.9 points while grabbing a team-leading 6.5 rebounds. He is also sixth in the league with 1.5 blocks per game. Watson is adding 11.3 points while connecting on 92.7% of his free throws, good for second in C-USA and 11th in the country (through 12/19).

As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 74.1 points and allowing just 64.7. The Golden Eagles are hitting 42.7-percent of their shots and 39.6% of their three-pointers, which leads Conference USA. Their opposition is connecting on 43.5% from the field and 39.0-percent from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles hold the advantage on the boards, as they are outrebounding their opponents 36.43-to-31.0, a difference of 5.3 per game. The Golden Eagles are also leading the league and are fourth in the NCAA (through 12/19) in free throw percentage (.778).

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his eighth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 126-106 (.543) record during his time as head coach. In 21 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 386-251 (.606).

USF comes into Thursday's game with a 7-5 record. The Bulls have won two of their last three after defeating Cleveland State, 70-55, Saturday night.

USF was led by junior guard Jawanza Poland, who was playing in his first game, with 13 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Augustus Gilchrist had 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior forward Ron Anderson, Jr. had 11 points and seven rebounds, while freshman guard Anthony Collins added 11 points and six assists.

The Bulls are led by Gilchrist with a team-leading 11.1 points. He is also pulling down 6.0 rebounds and is seventh in the Big East with 1.9 blocks per game. Sophomore forward Victor Rudd, Jr.is averaging 9.8 points. Junior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick is scoring 9.6 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds. He is also seventh in the Big East in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 42.3-percent.

As a team, USF is scoring 62.1 points per game while allowing 58.0. The Bulls are shooting 43.8-percent from the floor while holding their opponents to 40.3-percent. USF is pulling down 33.9 boards per game, while allowing just 31.8. The Bulls are also connecting on 33.8-percent of its three-point attempts while holding its opposition to just 30.7%.

Head coach Stan Heath is in his fifth season at the helm of the USF men's basketball program. He has compiled a 58-82 (.414) record during his tenure as head coach. In 11 seasons overall, Sendek is 170-159 (.517).



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