HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team hosts Marshall this Friday, February 7, in a nationally-televised tilt. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by CBS Sports Network.
Southern Miss and Marshall will meet for the 17th time. The Thundering Herd leads the series, 9-7. However, Southern Miss is a perfect 6-0 in games played in Hattiesburg.
Southern Miss enters today's game with a 19-3 record and 6-1 in Conference USA. The Golden Eagles have won five straight after defeating Tulane, 78-47, last Saturday night.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 12.2 points. He leads Conference USA and is second in the country (as of Feb. 3) in free throw percentage, connecting on 94.6-percent from the charity stripe. He is also sixth in the league in steals (1.6) and ninth in assists (3.9). Senior forward Michael Craig is adding 11.3 points and a team-high 8.0 boards, which is ninth in C-USA. He is also sixth in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 57.6-percent from the floor.
Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 11.1 points per game and is pulling down 4.9 rebounds per game. He is also connecting on 57.6-percent from the field, which is seventh in C-USA. Senior guard Jerrold Brooks is scoring 9.6 points and junior forward Aaron Brown is averaging 8.8 points.
Southern Miss is averaging 73.6 points per game and is leading C-USA by allowing just 61.7. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 46.5% from the field, which is second in the league, and 34.2% from three while allowing just 41.8% from the floor and 33.7% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 36.5-to-28.4, a rebound margin of +8.0, which is 13th in the NCAA (as of Feb. 3). The Black and Gold is second in the league and 15th in the country (as of Feb. 3) with 8.6 steals per game.
Marshall enters tonight's game with an 8-15 record and 2-6 in Conference USA. The Thundering Herd are coming off a 65-57 loss against Florida Atlantic last Saturday afternoon.
Freshman guard Kareem Canty is seventh in Conference USA with 16.3 points. He is also second in assists (6.5) and minutes played (36.0). Freshman forward Ryan Taylor is averaging 14.0 points. He is also leading the team with 7.1 rebounds and is ninth in the league in field goal percentage (.541). Sophomore guard Chris Thomas is adding 11.8 points.
Marshall is third in Conference USA, scoring 77.0 points while allowing 75.2. The Thundering Herd is connecting on 44.7-percent from the floor and 31.2-percent from three but are allowing 44.3-percent from the field and are third in C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (29.6%). MU is also being outrebounded, 38.9-to-38.1.
Head coach Tom Herrion is in his fourth year as the head of the Marshall program, where he has a 64-60 (.516) record. In eight years as a head coach, Herrion is 144-98 (.595).
* Ray Guy Night - first 4,000 fans will receive a commemorative mini poster and sticker. Ray will also address the crowd at halftime. Prior to the game, the Southern Miss Alumni Association and Athletic Department will host a meet-and-greet event for our first Pro Football Hall of Famer at the Trent Lott Center from 6 - 7:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and will feature hors d'oeuvres and light refreshments.
* Go GOLD Friday - All fans asked to wear Gold for the game. Additionally, the first 500 students in the student section will receive a Gold Southern Miss T-shirt.
* Youth Basketball Night - All youth basketball players in their youth basketball league jerseys will be able to purchase bleacher tickets for $5 each. Please stop by the Ticket Office at the North Entrance of the Coliseum to take advantage of this deal.
* Baseball team - Also at halftime, the 2014 Southern Miss Baseball team will be introduced to the crowd. They open their season at home on Friday, February 14th against Stony Brook at 4 p.m.