HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss men's basketball team closes its non-conference schedule this Friday, January 3, when it hosts Rhode Island. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Southern Miss and Drexel.
Southern Miss enters Friday's game with a 12-2 record. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 77-64 victory at Rhode Island last Saturday.
Senior guard Neil Watson leads the team with 12.1 points. He also leads Conference USA in free throw percentage, connecting on 91.2-percent from the charity stripe while adding 3.9 assists. Senior forward Daveon Boardingham is averaging 10.7 points per game. He is pulling down 4.1 rebounds per game and is sixth in Conference USA in field goal percentage, connecting on 58.6-percent from the floor. Senior forward Michael Craig is adding 10.0 points and a team-high 7.3 boards. Junior forward Aaron Brown is scoring 9.7 points and senior guard Jerrold Brooks is averaging 9.1 points.
Southern Miss is averaging 73.6 points per game and is leading C-USA by allowing just 63.1. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 47.9% from the field and 33.8% from three while allowing just 42.5% from the floor and 33.6% from behind the arc. Southern Miss is also outrebounding its opponents, 34.4-to-29.1 and is second in the league and 14th in the country (as of Dec. 29) with 9.4 steals per game.
Drexel enters the game with an 8-4 record. The Dragons are coming off a 55-52 loss against Buffalo on Sunday.
Senior guard Chris Fouch leads Drexel with 17.1 points, good for seventh in the Colonial Athletic Association. Senior guard Frantz Massenat is eighth in the CAA in scoring with 15.1 points. He is also second in assists with 4.6 and first in minutes played (37.1). Junior guard Damion Lee is scoring 13.0 points. Sophomore guard Tavon Allen is adding 12.4 points. Senior forward Dartaye Ruffin is fourth in the CAA with 8.5 rebounds and freshman forward Rodney Williams is fifth in blocks with 1.3.
Drexel is averaging 69.2 points while allowing 66.2 points, which is second in the Colonial. The Dragons are connecting on just 41.7-percent from the floor and 27.3% from three but are second in the CAA in field goal percentage defense, allowing .413 and lead the Colonial in three-point percentage defense (.274). Drexel is also outrebounding the opposition, 39.4-to-36.8 per game.
Head coach Bruiser Flint is in his 18th year as the head of the Drexel program, where he has a 206-163 (.558) record. In 31 years as a head coach, Flint is 306-235 (.566).