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December 31, 2011

Eagles close non-confrence hoops schedule

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team will conclude its non-conference schedule this Saturday, Dec. 31st, when it travels to Lake Charles, La., to face McNeese State. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.

This will be the 21st meeting between Southern Miss and McNeese State, and the first meeting in Lake Charles since 1991. Southern Miss holds a 13-7 record overall and the series is tied at three in Lake Charles. Southern Miss is looking for its third straight victory over the Cowboys.

Southern Miss enters Saturday afternoon's non-conference finale with a 12-2 record. The Golden Eagles are coming off an 80-49 victory over in-state foe Alcorn State.

Darnell Dodson scored 16 points and had a game-high 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the year, while Jonathan Mills recorded his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 19 points and 10 boards. Maurice Bolden and LaShay Page each scored 10 points, while Neil Watson dished out 10 assists.

Dodson leads the Black and Gold with 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds. Page is scoring 13.1 points and is third in the league in three-pointers made (2.7) and is eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.362).

Angelo Johnson is third on the team with 11.8 points and is dishing out 3.4 assists. Bolden is scoring 11.7 points while grabbing 6.8 rebounds. He is also tied for seventh in the league with 1.5 blocks per game. Neil Watson is adding 10.1 points while connecting on 91.3% of his free throws, good for second in C-USA.

As a team, Southern Miss is scoring 74.4 points and is allowing just 61.4. The Golden Eagles are hitting 43.2-percent of their shots and 38.7% of their three-pointers, which leads Conference USA. Their opposition is connecting on 41.0% from the field and 31.7-percent from behind the arc. The Golden Eagles hold the advantage on the boards, as they are outrebounding their opponents 38.6-to-31.0, a difference of 7.6 per game. The Golden Eagles are also second in the league in free throw percentage (.744).

Head coach Larry Eustachy is in his eighth season at the helm of the Southern Miss men's basketball program. He has compiled a 129-106 (.549) record during his time as head coach. In 21 years, Eustachy has an overall record of 389-251 (.608).

McNeese State comes into Saturday's game with a 4-7 record. The Cowboys are playing their first game in 10 days after falling 82-62 at New Mexico State.

The Cowboys were led by senior guard Patrick Richard with 21 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Jeremie Mitchell scored 12 points and freshman forward Desharick Guidry pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

McNeese State is led by Richard with 16.5 points, which is second in the Southland Conference. He is also averaging 5.5 rebounds per game and leads the league in minutes played (34.1). Mitchell is second on the team with 12.0 points, and leads the league with 2.6 field goals made per game and senior center Rudy Turner leads the team with 5.9 rebounds.

As a team, McNeese State is scoring 64.0 points per game while allowing 65.3. The Cowboys are shooting just 41.4-percent from the floor while allowing their opponents to connect on 45.3-percent. MSU is pulling down 34.9 boards per game, while allowing 34.4. McNeese is also connecting on just 28.3-percent of its three-point attempts while holding its opposition to just 28.2%, tops in the Southland.

Head coach Dave Simmons is in his sixth season at the helm of the McNeese State men's basketball program. He has compiled a 47-90 (.343) record during his tenure as head coach. In eight years, Simmons holds a 101-120 (.457) overall record.


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