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Southern Miss (27-5) vs. Louisiana Tech (26-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 6:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Don Haskins Center (12,222) -- El Paso, Texas. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: USM 14-0, LA Tech 13-1. Away Record: USM 9-5, LA Tech 9-4. Neutral Record: USM 4-0, LA Tech 4-1. Conference Record: USM 13-3, LA Tech 13-3. Series Record: Southern Miss leads, 43-29.

GAME NOTES: The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will try to punch their ticket to another Conference USA Tournament championship game as they take on the top- seeded Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in the semifinal round at the Don Haskins Center on Friday.

Although Southern Miss is the No. 4 seed in the C-USA Tournament, it finished the regular season tied with the Bulldogs, Tulsa and Middle Tennessee for first in the conference standings. The winner of this contest will face either Tulsa or Middle Tennessee in the title game on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles dispatched the tournament hosting Texas-El Paso Miners, 64-56, on Thursday in the quarterfinals behind a strong second half performance. Southern Miss finished with a 45-28 edge in total rebounds and limited UTEP to a 3-of-22 clip from 3-point range in the contest. On the season, coach Donnie Tyndale's squad has been impressive on both ends of the court by shooting 46.3 percent from the field for 72.4 ppg, while allowing a C-USA low 62.2 ppg on 42.3 percent shooting.

LA Tech has not reached the NCAA Tournament since 1991 when it was a member of the American South. The Bulldogs are already a step ahead of last season when they were upset as the top seed in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference in their first postseason game by a ninth-seeded UTSA squad. They dominated Charlotte in the quarterfinals on Thursday, coasting to an 85-66 decision. LA Tech converted the 49ers' 16 turnovers into 17 points and outscored its opponent, 36-18, in the paint. Coach Michael White's squad excelled in its inaugural season as a member of the C-USA as it upped its scoring offense (81.5 ppg) by nine points and its scoring margin (16.4 ppg) by 7.4 points.

This will be the 73nd time in history that LA Tech and USM square off on the hardwood, making it the longest rivalry outside the state of Louisiana for the Bulldogs. The Golden Eagles own a 43-29 all-time series lead after defeating the Bulldogs in last season's NIT and in this year's regular-season matchup in Hattiesburg.

The Golden Eagles were concerned about how senior forward and All C-USA Third Team member Michael Craig would perform in the C-USA Tournament since he had not played any significant minutes since returning to action on March 6. Craig wasted no time showing he will be a contributor in El Paso as he registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds versus the Miners in the team's postseason debut. Senior point guard Neil Watson's performance must improve going forward since he is USM's primary playmaker and top perimeter defender. Watson, who was named First Team All-C-USA, was limited to 1-of-7 efficiency from the floor, two points and just one assist against three turnovers by UTEP. Luckily, junior guard Aaron Brown stepped up to tally 18 points and seven rebounds, while senior forward Daveon Boardingham added nine points and seven boards.

In LA Tech's rout of Charlotte on Thursday, Michale Kyser scored a career-high 20 points and pulled down nine boards, while Alex Hamilton accounted for 19 points. Junior floor general Kenneth Smith dished out eight assists on the night, marking the 14th time in the past 15 games he has had at least eight in a game. The strong showing also brought the First-Team All-C-USA selection's season total to 245, surpassing UAB's Aaron Johnson (2010-11) for the C-USA single-season assists record. Hamilton (14.6 ppg) has become the Bulldogs' go- to-guy on the offensive end, but Chris Anderson (12 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Raheem Appleby (13.5 ppg) are both capable scorers as well.

LA Tech will not only be looking to take its next step towards the NCAA Tournament, but it will also be seeking revenge as it faces the school that ended its season in 2012-13. All five of USM's losses have been away from home.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Louisiana Tech 73, Southern Miss 68

03/14 10:29:56 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0
 
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
Final
BAL 7
BOS 2
Final
PIT 0
MIL 1
Final
TAM 3
CWS 1
Final
MIN 3
CLE 7
Final
ATL 2
NYM 4
Final
HOU 10
SEA 1
Final
MIA 2
WAS 3
Final
STL 8
CIN 4
Final
SDP 3
SFG 2
Final
ANA 8
TEX 5
1:05pm Today
NYY
TOR
 
1:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
BOS
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
ATL
NYM
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
CWS
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
SEA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
LOS
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
TEX
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
PHI
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
SFG
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
Final
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
Final
ILL 42
TXST 35
Final
WASH 45
GASTATE 14
Final
SMISS 21
APPST 20
Final
TOL 34
BST 23
Final
OHIO 36
IDAHO 24
Final
CIN 31
UMO 24
Final
MEM 36
MTST 17
Final
LSU 29
MSST 34
Final
ARK 52
NILL 14
Final
ARKST 21
UTST 14
Final
SALABAMA 6
GASO 28
Final
WVU 33
OKLA 45
Final
VANDY 34
SCAR 48
Final
NEB 41
MIAMI 31
Final
NMST 35
NMU 38
Final
HOU 47
UNLV 14
Final
FSU 23
CLEM 17
Final
ARZ 49
CAL 45
Final
ORST 28
SDST 7
Final
WASU 31
OREG 38
Final
BSU 34
LALAF 9
1:30pm Today
CAR
CLB
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
1:00pm Today
CLE
BAL
1:00pm Today
STL
DAL
1:00pm Today
DET
GBP
1:00pm Today
NYG
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
IND
1:00pm Today
NOS
MIN
1:00pm Today
NEP
OAK
1:00pm Today
BUF
SDC
1:00pm Today
CIN
TEN
1:00pm Today
PHI
WAS
4:05pm Today
ARI
SFX
4:25pm Today
SEA
DEN
4:25pm Today
MIA
KAN
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
TOWSN 31
NCCU 20
 
Final
NCSU 42
PRES 0