Southern Miss (25-5) at Tulane (25-5)
GAME NOTES: Winners of four straight games, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles travel to the Big Easy to take on the Tulane Green Wave in a Conference USA matchup at Devlin Fieldhouse.
The streaking Golden Eagles won again on Sunday at Florida Atlantic, 60-49. They are in a four-way tie for first place in the conference with Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee and Tulsa.
Tulane fell at FIU, 73-47, also on Sunday. That loss snapped a modest two-game win streak for the Green Wave, who are tied with Old Dominion for sixth place in the league.
This bout marks the 77th meeting between these two conference rivals. Tulane owns a 40-36 series lead, but Southern Miss has won eight straight, including the 78-47 verdict earlier this season in Hattiesburg.
Daveon Boardingham scored 24 points to lead the Golden Eagles over the Florida Atlantic Owls. Aaron Brown netted 15 points in support for Southern Miss in the win. The Golden Eagles finished the game with a whopping 28-9 scoring advantage at the free-throw line.
On the season, USM has been outstanding at both ends of the floor, shooting 46.4 percent from the field for 72.8 ppg while allowing a mere 62.7 ppg on just under 43 percent shooting, also owning impressive margins in terms of rebounding (+6.3) and turnovers (+3.0). Michael Craig is credited with a team- high 7.4 rpg, while shooting 57.9 percent from the field, and he is tied for the scoring lead with Boardingham (11.0 ppg). Neil Watson (10.8 ppg, 4.1 apg), Brown (9.7 ppg) and Jerrold Brooks (9.5 ppg) round out the balanced attack.
Louis Dabney paced Tulane with 13 points in the recent loss to FIU. Tre Drye chipped in 12 points and Jonathan Stark had 11. FIU dominated from the opening tip, shooting 57.7 percent from the floor, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range, in the first half. The Panthers led, 38-28, at the break. In the second half Tulane, which had only 11 field goals in the first 20 minutes, added just six more, while the Panthers shot at a 42.9 percent clip to coast to the victory.
The Green Wave are producing a sub par 64.8 ppg, which is far below the 70.1 ppg being posted by the competition. Dabney takes the lead in scoring with 16.3 ppg, although he has made good on just 29 percent of his 3-point attempts. while Hook and Stark check in with 14.3 and 13.9 ppg, respectively.
The Golden Eagles have their sights set on the conference crown, and they have been playing excellent basketball. They play well at both ends of the court, and should have little trouble getting past the Green Wave here.
GAME NOTES: Winners of four straight games, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles
travel to the Big Easy to take on the Tulane Green Wave in a Conference USA
matchup at Devlin Fieldhouse.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: Devlin Fieldhouse (3,600) -- New Orleans, Louisiana.
Television: None. Home Record: USM 14-0, Tulane 12-5. Away Record: USM 8-5,
Tulane 4-6. Neutral Record: USM 3-0, Tulane 0-3. Conference Record: USM 12-3,
Tulane x. Series Record: Tulane leads, 40-36.Game Date and Time
Thursday, March 6, 8 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Southern Miss 75, Tulane 65