Southern Miss (16-4) at Tulsa (12-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 4:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reynolds Center (8,335) -- Tulsa, Oklahoma. Television: None. Home Record: USM 8-0, Tulsa 7-1. Away Record: USM 6-4, Tulsa 4-5. Neutral Record: USM 2-0, Tulsa 1-2. Conference Record: USM 5-0, Tulsa 4-2. Series Record: Tulsa leads, 6-4.
GAME NOTES: The Southern Miss Golden Eagles put their perfect Conference USA record on the line as they venture to the Reynolds Center for a league matchup against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane.
This will be just the 11th meeting between these schools in a series that dates back to 1956. Tulsa holds a 6-4 all-time series lead, including a 5-1 mark at home. USM escaped the last encounter with a 77-68 overtime decision in Hattiesburg last year to end a four-game losing streak to Tulsa.
Southern Miss is riding a wave of momentum into this one, as it is playing exceptionally well in Donnie Tyndall's first season at the helm of the program. The Golden Eagles notched their eighth consecutive victory on Wednesday by coasting past Marshall, 102-46, to raise their record to 16-4. USM has now won all five of its C-USA games by an average of 23.4 points. Senior forward Dwayne Davis provides 13.3 points per game to lead a group of eight Golden Eagles that contribute at least 5.9 ppg. Jonathan Mills is leading the team on the glass with 6.5 rpg and Neil Watson deals out 5.2 assists per contest.
USM's balanced attack may not be producing any league leaders in the scoring column, but it has led to a C-USA low 57.5 points allowed per game on the defensive end. The Golden Eagles have held eight of their last nine opponents below the 60-point mark and have lost just once this year when doing so. Finding scoring never seems to be an issue thanks to the depth of the team. Jerrold Brooks scored 20 points to lead five players in double figures versus Marshall. The Golden Eagles, who entered the game ranked third nationally with 11.0 steals per game, forced 31 turnovers on the strength of 20 steals.
Danny Manning's Golden Hurricane notched their third win in four games on Wednesday with an 87-72 decision at Houston. The victory improved Tulsa to a 12-8 overall record. The Golden Hurricane averages 65.8 points and 36.5 rebounds per game, while it allows 63.5 points and 33.0 rebounds per contest. Freshman guard James Woodard has given Tulsa a glimpse of its bright future. The rookie is producing 13.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per tilt, while senior guard Scottie Haralson adds 9.6 points and 3.7 boards a game.
Haralson scored 19 points off five 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Tulsa past Houston for a 15-point win his last time out. The Golden Hurricane led by as many as 22 in the second half and hit 12 3-pointers in the contest, while shooting 50.8 percent from the field overall and dishing out 20 assists. Houston was limited to .407 shooting as Woodard and Tim Peete chipped in 14 points apiece for Tulsa.
The Golden Hurricane are a solid team within the conference, but they will have trouble against the red-hot Golden Eagles. Memphis may be the only team in the conference capable of downing USM.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Miss 72, Tulsa 60
01/26 10:40:41 ET