GAME NOTES: The Houston Cougars have made the trek to Hattiesburg to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in a Conference USA battle at Reed Green Coliseum.
Winners of their last seven games, Houston enters this contest on the heels of a 78-67 win against SMU to open league play Wednesday night. With that victory, the Cougars continued the program's longest winning streak since the 2007-08 team won 10 straight early that season.
The Golden Eagles have won four straight and six of their last seven games after defeating Rice, 75-52, on Wednesday night in their conference opener.
This game is the only scheduled regular season meeting between these two, and the Cougars own a 17-15 lead in the all-time series. Houston has won two of the last three games. Southern Miss has posted a 9-3 record against Houston in Hattiesburg, with wins in each of the last three games. The Cougars have not won here since posting a 75-53 verdict on Feb. 12, 2005.
In winning the conference opener Wednesday night, freshman forward Danuel House led Houston with 28 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Joseph Young scored 20 points. Senior forward Leon Gibson and sophomore forward TaShawn Thomas grabbed 14 and 12 rebounds, respectively.
Young leads the conference in scoring with 17.6 ppg. He is also second in the league in free throw percentage (.925) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.464). Thomas is averaging a double-double consisting of 16.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing, which rank sixth and second in C-USA, respectively. He also leads the league with 2.4 blocks per tilt. House averages 13.6 points and 5.3 caroms per contest.
As a team, Houston is scoring a conference best 79.7 ppg while allowing 67.1 ppg. The Cougars are connecting on 46 percent from the field, while the opposition does so at 41 percent. From 3-point distance, Houston hits on a league-high 39.3 percent, and is allowing 31.7 percent success to its enemies. Houston is outrebounding its opponents, 41.3-to-36.0, and is second in Conference USA in blocks with 4.7 per game.
Southern Miss enters the weekend on the heels of a 75-52 win at Rice on Wednesday night to open league play. Against the Owls, forward Daveon Boardingham led four players in double digits with 15 points. Michael Craig came off the bench to score 15 with a game-high eight rebounds, while guards Dwayne Davis and Jerrold Brooks posted 11 points apiece. Brooks and guard Neil Watson each handed out a game-high four assists.
Davis leads the team with 13.1 ppg while pulling down 4.1 rpg. Craig adds 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest. He is also connecting on 58.4 percent from the floor, which is third-best in the league and is second with 1.9 steals per game. Brooks is third on the team with 9.9 ppg. Senior forward Jonathan Mills scores 9.4 ppg while grabbing a team-high 6.6 rpg. Junior guard Neil Watson is averaging 8.9 ppg and is second in C-USA in assists (5.1 apg) and fourth in steals (1.9 spg) and 3-point field goal percentage (.442).
Southern Miss is scoring 73.1 ppg and giving up just 57.6 ppg, good for second in the league. The Golden Eagles are shooting 48.7 percent from the floor and holding their opponents to just 38.6 percent, which is second and first in the league, respectively. The Golden Eagles are connecting on 37.1 percent from 3- point range, which is third in C-USA, and they also lead the league by holding opponents to just 29.5 percent from that range. Southern Miss also outrebounds its opponents, 34.9 to 27.9. The Golden Eagles lead the league and rank second in the country in steals with 12.2 per tilt.
Both teams can score, but Southern Miss has been the more solid defensive team thus far, so the Cougars' win streak will likely be halted.
Game Date and Time