GAME NOTES: The Old Dominion Monarchs put a four-game win streak on the line as they host the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in Conference USA action at the Constant Convocation Center.
Southern Miss has won two in a row and seven of its last eight. The only loss the Golden Eagles suffered in Conference USA play was to Tulsa back on Jan. 12. They are a half-game back of ODU for the conference lead. Southern Miss downed Louisiana Tech, 80-71, in the team's last outing.
After experiencing a six-game losing streak midway through the season, Old Dominion has won five of its last seven, including four in a row. The last three have been in conference action, as Old Dominion now leads the C-USA standings at 3-0. The Monarchs handled FAU, 65-60, in their last contest.
Old Dominion has now lost a game yet in the all-time series with Southern Miss, leading 6-0. The last time the teams played each other, however, was during the 1992-93 season.
Louisiana Tech had not lost a Conference USA game before its clash with the Golden Eagles Sunday. The Bulldogs made a comeback attempt, but Southern Miss was able to thwart any chance of a Louisiana Tech victory, pulling away for the 80-71 victory. Daveon Bordingham led the way for the Golden Eagles with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor, and connecting on 8-of-12 from the free-throw line. Michael Craig chipped in 17 points and 12 rebounds for the double-double, and Neil Watson scored 14 points. Southern Miss shot 41.7 percent from the floor.
Watson leads the team in scoring average this season with 11.6 ppg on 40.3 percent shooting from the field. Watson brings a team-best 72 assists on the year into the contest with ODU. Craig is second on scoring, while Bordingham is right behind him. The two players are averaging 11.3 and 11.2 ppg, respectively. Southern Miss has netted an average of 74 ppg through 19 games played, holding its opponents to 63.4 ppg.
Redshirt freshman Ambrose Mosley hit four clutch free throws down the stretch of Old Dominion's 65-60 win over Florida Atlantic Saturday, helping his team get the win to remain unbeaten in C-USA play. Keenan Palmore scored a team- high 15 points while Denzell Taylor netted 14 and Richard Ross scored 10 with a team-best eight rebounds. ODU shot 48.9 percent from the floor in the contest.
Although he's played in one fewer game than the rest of his teammates, Aaron Bacote leads the Monarchs in scoring this season with 17.5 ppg on 41.9 percent shooting. Dimitri Batten is second at 11.3 ppg, and Palmore, the sophomore, is third at 11.3 ppg. Bacote has a team-high 57 assists on the season, while Palmore tops the squad with 24 steals. Ross bests the Monarchs in rebounding at 7.4 rpg.
This will be one of the better matchups this season in Conference USA play. Although Old Dominion has the better conference record and the home-court advantage, its 65.5 ppg won't be able to keep pace with Southern Miss' explosive offense.
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