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Southern Miss (29-6) at Minnesota (22-13)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 25, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Williams Arena (14,625) -- Minneapolis, Minnesota. Television: ESPN. National Invitation Tournament Record: Southern Miss 10-8, Minnesota 24-12. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: With a trip to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals on the line, the third-seeded Southern Miss Golden Eagles will travel to Minneapolis to take on the top-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers at Williams Arena.

The winner of this game will advance to the NIT's semifinal round, and will face either Louisiana Tech or Florida State on April 1 in New York City.

Southern Miss was booted from the Conference USA Tournament back on March 14 by Louisiana Tech, but could get some revenge on the Bulldogs if both squads advance to the Big Apple. The Golden Eagles took down Toledo in the first round of the NIT, and defeated Missouri, 71-63, to advance to the quarterfinal round.

Minnesota struggled all season long in conference play, and was ousted from the Big Ten Conference Tournament by Wisconsin. But the Gophers rebounded with wins over High Point in the first round of the NIT, and against the West Coast Conference's Saint Mary's Gaels, 63-55, on Sunday.

This will be the first time these two programs have met on the hardwood.

Southern Miss fell behind early to Missouri, as the Tigers grabbed a five- point lead not even a minute into the game. But that was quickly erased, and the Golden Eagles ended up taking a five-point lead of their own when the buzzer sounded at the end of the first half. With the advantage, the Eagles built their lead to as many as 11 points in the second half, and ended up cruising to the nine-point win. Neil Watson scored a team-high 18 points, and dished out seven assists for Southern Miss. Aaron Brown chipped in 16 points, and Michael Craig tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards in the victory.

Craig enters the game against Minnesota leading the team in scoring with an 11.2 ppg average, adding a team-leading 7.6 rpg mark to his season resume. Watson is second in scoring for the Golden Eagles at 10.6 ppg, having dished out a team-best 139 assists. Daveon Boardingham checks in at third at 10.2 ppg, and Brown notches 10 ppg for Southern Miss. As a unit, the Eagles are scoring 72.1 ppg, and giving up just 62.8 ppg to opponents.

Minnesota looked very much in trouble as Saint Mary's jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the Gophers' last outing. Minnesota failed to score a point in the game's first 6:50, but came surging back and finally took a lead with 14:53 left in the second period. Joey King netted 18 points to pace the Golden Gophers in the contest, while DeAndre Mathieu chipped in 14 and Austin Hollins added 10. Minnesota shot an even 50 percent from the floor in the second frame to kick-start the comeback run.

Andre Hollins leads Minnesota in scoring at 13.8 ppg. Mathieu checks in behind Hollins in the scoring department at 12 ppg, adding a team-best 148 assists to his season stat line. Austin Hollins rounds out the double-digit scorers at 11.5 ppg. Elliott Eliason tops the team in rebounding at 6.8 rpg, and in blocked shots with 71. The Gophers net an average of 71.5 ppg, and allow just 67.8 ppg to opponents.

Southern Miss builds its game around a strong offensive attack, while Minnesota has found success on the defensive end of the floor. Statistically, the edge goes to Southern Miss, but going against a Big Ten program like Minnesota that dominated non-conference play early on, is a tall order, especially in Minneapolis.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Minnesota 72, Southern Miss 65

03/25 10:30:54 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
3rd
CAR 10
CLE 6
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
1st OT
ARMY 62
MAINE 64
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
 
1st OT
CLST 64
USF 63
 
2nd
CARK 45
CCAR 64
 
2nd
UWGB 43
ARKLR 31
 
2nd
RAD 34
CORN 38
 
2nd
UNT 37
CREI 21
 
2nd
CAN 26
HC 23
 
2nd
USB 32
GHND 35
 
2nd
OKST 30
MD 45
 
2nd
WINT 44
REIN 32
 
2nd
UGST 42
SMISS 33
 
2nd
NEOM 45
TXPA 35
 
2nd
STLU 29
VERM 28
 
2nd
UNCA 38
WCU 28
 
Half
EVAN 47
ALAST 49
 
1st
HART 39
FIU 29
 
1st
VALPO 31
GOSHEN 22
 
1st
LIP 3
PEAY 2
 
1st
DEN 0
BRY 0
 
1st
MONT 0
SD 0
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
3rd
NOS 7
ATL 20
 
3rd
HOU 16
BAL 0
 
3rd
CAR 10
CLE 6
 
3rd
CHI 14
DET 10
 
4th
TAM 3
GBP 10
 
3rd
PIT 10
KAN 6
 
3rd
MIA 14
MIN 17
 
3rd
NYJ 13
NEP 10
 
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA