Southern Miss (2-0) at Sam Houston State (1-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 19, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Bernard Johnson Coliseum (6,110) -- Huntsville, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: USM 1-0, SHS 1-0. Away Record: USM 1-0, SHS 0-1. Neutral Record: USM 0-0, SHS 0-0. Conference Record: USM 0-0, SHS 0-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.
GAME NOTES: Legends Classic action is on tap in Huntsville, Texas on Monday night, as the Southern Miss Golden Eagles take on the host team, the Sam Houston State Bearkats.
The round-robin tournament will also include UC Irvine and Liberty, with each team facing each other over the next three days.
Southern Miss started its season with a pair of tight overtime matchups. First, the Eagles knocked off Western Kentucky at home, 67-64, then they went on the road to take down Georgia, 62-60. It was the first time they have played back-to-back overtime games since the 1995-96 season, and the first time ever they've done so to open a season.
Sam Houston State's campaign began with a tough loss at Arkansas, 73-68. Then, following a blowout win at home over Hardin-Simmons (82-31), the Bearkats found themselves on the wrong end of a one-sided affair at No. 1 Indiana, 99-45.
These two teams have split the all-time series at 1-1, with the last matchup coming during the 2006-07 season.
Southern Miss led throughout much of its game against Georgia, and with a Dwayne Davis layup with 4:30 left in regulation, it was up 55-49. But it went scoreless down the stretch as Georgia forced overtime. In the extra session, it was Davis who broke a 60-60 tie with under a minute remaining to give the Golden Eagles the victory. The shooting effort was impressive (.510), but 22 turnovers nearly cost them the win. Davis finished with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds while also adding four assists and two steals. He has had trouble holding on to the ball however, as he has committed 13 turnovers in two games. Jerrold Brooks led the way with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from three-point range, and he is the team's leading scorer on the season with 15.0 ppg. In addition to Brooks and Davis (12.5 ppg), Michael Craig also averages double figures (10.5 ppg).
It's unfair to judge a small program like Sam Houston State against a powerhouse like Indiana, but nonetheless it did not perform well its last time out. The Bearkats made good on only 16-of-53 of their field goal attempts (.302), including a poor 5-of-26 effort from three-point range, while also committing 19 turnovers. SHSU also had no answer for the Hoosiers at the defensive end as it allowed them to shoot 56.6 percent from the field and sent them to the foul line a whopping 44 times. The Bearkats' starting lineup shot just 4-of-19 from the floor. Paul Baxter (nine points) and Marquel McKinney (eight points) came off the bench and were the team's top performers. On the season, Sam Houston State is averaging 65 ppg on 40.7 percent field goal efficiency. The only player to average double figures in scoring is Darius Gatson (10.3 ppg), who has hit 6-of-12 from three-point land, and also leads the team in assists (nine) and steals (six).
Sam Houston State will have the advantage since this tournament is taking place in its building, but Southern Miss is simply the more talented team, and the crowd alone won't be enough to lift the Bearkats to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Miss 68, Sam Houston State 58
11/19 10:41:37 ET