Southern Miss

Southern Miss looks to even C-USA mark with 2 home games

Doc Sadler
Doc Sadler

The Southern Miss basketball team has a shot to even its record in Conference USA play when it hosts a pair of games this week.

The Golden Eagles (5-12, 2-4) host UTEP at 7 p.m. on Thursday and UTSA at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

UTEP will return to the scene of a dramatic 63-60 loss at Southern Miss last year. The Miners led 52-28 with 11:39 remaining before the Golden Eagles put together a furious rally to pick up the upset victory.

It marked the fourth consecutive time that Tim Floyd's UTEP team has lost a game in Hattiesburg.

However, Floyd was not the coach that night. He was suspended for the game following his ejection at Louisiana Tech two days prior in a 77-60 defeat and assistant Phil Johnson filled in.

Floyd, who has deep USM ties, will be courtside Thursday when the Miners and Golden Eagles do battle.

Floyd attended USM and lived in Hattiesburg when his dad, Lee Floyd, served as head basketball coach at the school. Lee Floyd was coach at USM in 1949-54 and 1962-71 with a career record of 246-147.

The Miners (11-9, 3-4) have yet to win a game away from El Paso this season, going 0-5 so far.

Second-year USM head coach Doc Sadler, who served as head coach at UTEP from 2004-06, hopes his team can get back on track after losing 70-59 to Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

USM has suffered from inconsistency on offense and will again rely on the backcourt combo of junior point guard Khari Price and senior two guard Kourtlin Jackson to provide much of the production.

Freshman forward Tim Rowe has shown improvement in recent games. The 6-foot-11 native of Georgia is averaging 12 points and 4.3 rebounds over the last three games.

It will be Clarence Weatherspoon Day on Saturday when the Golden Eagles host UTSA.

The first 2,000 fans to the game will receive a complimentary Weatherspoon mini poster.

BASEBALL: Conference USA announced Wednesday that Southern Miss was picked to finish third this season by the league's coaches in a preseason poll. Rice is the favorite to win the league. Senior first baseman Tim Lynch was the lone Golden Eagle named to the All-C-USA Preseason Team. He batted .313 with nine homers and 32 RBIs last year.