GAME NOTES: The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will try to extend a four-game win streak as they play host to the Tulane Green Wave in Conference USA action at Reed Green Coliseum.
Tulane fell to 3-3 in C-USA standings with a 70-64 loss to Old Dominion in the team's last outing. Still, the Green Wave have won two of their last three games and three of their last five, and are just two games back of Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech for the conference lead.
Southern Miss has won four games in a row and nine of its last 10 en route to a 5-1 conference record, which is currently tied for first. The Golden Eagles downed East Carolina Saturday, 60-46, on the road, At 18-3, the Eagles sport the best overall record in Conference USA.
Tulane has the edge in the all-time series between the two programs, 40-35. The two conference rivals will meet again in the final regular-season bout in New Orleans.
Tulane came out flat against Old Dominion in the most recent contest for the Green Wave, but still managed to close to within four points with 15 seconds remaining in the game. ODU held on to defeat Tulane in the end. Jonathan Stark led all scorers in the contest with 21 points for Tulane, which shot 38.8 percent from the floor. Louis Dabney chipped in 17 points, while Jay Hook added 14. The Green Wave hit just 29.2 percent of their shots in the first half, and went 2-of-10 in the first frame from 3-point range.
Dabney tops the Green Wave this season in scoring, netting 17 ppg on 44.5 percent shooting. Dabney is connecting on just 27.7 percent of his 3-point attempts, though. Stark checks in at 15.6 ppg and Hook is third with 14.6 ppg. Stark leads the team with 85 assists on the year and is second in team steals behind Dabney (29) with 21 total. Tre Drye tops the squad in rebounding at 6.9 rpg.
Southern Miss had to overcome a 10-point deficit in the final 12 minutes against East Carolina, and used a 20-4 run to cap off the comeback victory. Daveon Boardingham led the Golden Eagles with 15 points, while Michael Craig chipped in a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Jerrold Brooks scored 11, and Neil Watson had 10 in the win. Southern Miss shot 43.1 percent from the floor, but hit just 25 percent of its 3-point attempts in the contest.
Watson leads the team this season in scoring by a narrow margin over Craig. Watson nets 12.3 ppg, while Craig checks in at 11.3 ppg on 58 percent shooting from the floor. Boardingham is third in scoring with 11.1 ppg and a team-best 23 blocked shots. Craig is the leading rebounder with 7.9 rpg, and Watson tops the team in assists with 82. The Golden Eagles pride themselves on defense, allowing just 62.4 ppg to their opponents.
Southern Miss has played exceptionally well on the defensive end of the floor this year, and if it weren't for a four-point loss to Tulsa, the Golden Eagles would be undefeated in C-USA action. Although Tulane has played well recently, the Green Wave will have a tough time handling the Eagles on their home court.
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