UTEP Looks to Continue Home Dominance
Jan. 28, 2008
UTEP (12-6, 3-2 C-USA) will shoot for its 10th win in 11 home games on Wednesday when Southern Miss (10-9, 2-3 C-USA) comes to town. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. MST.
The Miners entered the week in sixth place in the league standings, while Southern Miss was tied for seventh place. Both teams are coming off victories. UTEP edged Tulsa, 66-61, at the Don Haskins Center on Saturday. Southern Miss also defended its home court on Saturday by bouncing Rice, 71-53.
Southern Miss is winless on the road (0-6) this season, including 0-2 in league play. The Golden Eagles have lost at California (67-59), Alabama (79-77), South Alabama (75-68), Savannah State (61-56), UAB (72-65) and Memphis (83-47) in 2007-08. Southern Miss' road losing streak stands at eight games dating back to an 80-42 triumph at East Carolina on Feb. 14, 2007.
UTEP is 3-0 at home in Conference USA action, and 15-3 at home in league play since joining C-USA for the 2005-06 season. UTEP's record in conference home games is 31-5 over the last five seasons.
Despite its road record, Southern Miss is a tough out. The Golden Eagles are just one season removed from winning 20 games.
"They're a tough team to score against," UTEP coach Tony Barbee said. "They shut down the paint. When you're a driving team like we are, you have to do some things to adjust."
Southern Miss is holding opponents to 64.1 points per game this season, including 62.8 in league action.
The Golden Eagles are second in C-USA and 24th nationally in rebound margin (+6.7 rpg). Last year Southern Miss was sixth in the country in rebound margin (+7.2 rpg). Senior center Gjio Bain leads the Golden Eagles, averaging 6.6 boards per contest. Bain is also 35th nationally in blocked shots (2.1 bpg).
Last year's C-USA Freshman of the Year, guard Jeremy Wise, is averaging a team-leading 18.2 ppg this season. Wise is fifth in the league in scoring and free throw percentage (.826), eighth in assists (4.1 apg) and 10th in steals (1.4 spg).
Freshman guard R.L. Horton is averaging 12.2 ppg and junior guard Courtney Beasley is averaging 12.2 ppg.
Southern Miss is shooting 30.9 percent from three-point range to rank 11th in C-USA. The Golden Eagles are averaging 3.8 three pointers per game to rate 323rd out of 328 Division I-A schools.