UAB Blazers (20-4, 10-1)
Southern Miss (7-14, 4-6)
Series Record: 25-17, UAB
Game Time: 7 p.m. Central
TV/Live stream: None
Radio: David Crane and Steve Mitchell, 99.5 FM
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — UAB and Southern Miss will meet on the hardwood for the 45th time this Thursday night. The Blazers travel to Reed Green Coliseum where the Golden Eagles own an all-time 10-9 record against UAB. The pair are the only original Conference USA members left since it’s creation in 1995. Of the 17 games the teams have played in Hattiesburg, only two have gone to over time. The Golden Eagles won both double over time games.
Scouting the Golden Eagles
Coach Doc Sadler’s Golden Eagles have experienced many highs and lows this season. Southern Miss started the season 0-6, which prompted some in the media to question if they might be one of the worst Conference USA teams ever. Of the six losses, none was more embarrassing than a home loss to an in-town NAIA team, William Carey. Even more bizarre, the Golden Eagles pushed the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide to the brink in a 58-55 loss just a couple of weeks later.
Following the Alabama loss, the Golden Eagles were able to secure their first win over then top 100 ranked, North Dakota State at home. Southern Miss secured two more home wins out of conference putting them at 3-8 going in to Conference USA play.
Southern Miss is one of the smallest teams in Conference USA in terms of stature. Of their six players averaging more than 20 minutes per game, none are taller than 6-foot-7. Freshman forward Tim Rowe is their tallest player at 6-foot-11 and he is averaging 4.1 points and 16.4 minutes per game.
Grounding the Golden Eagles
Stopping the Golden Eagles begins with reducing their made three-point shots. Nearly 40 percent of their offensive points come from three-pointers. Southern Miss leads the conference with nine players who have attempted more than 20 threes. If the Blazers can keep them off the three-point line, Southern Miss ranks 317th out of 351 Division 1 teams in two-point field goal percentage. Expect Coach Haase to play Norton, Watts, and Baxter on the floor together a good bit to counter their guard-heavy lineups.
Sophomore forward William Lee has totaled 78 blocks through 24 games, which ranks third in the NCAA. He is 3 blocks shy of the number one spot held by Oregon senior forward, Chris Boucher. As a team, the Blazers have compiled 158 blocks, which is second only to the University of Washington who has 162.
UAB 80 Southern Miss 65