By Daily Journal reports
HATTIESBURG – The best men’s basketball teams in Conference USA have a chance to polish their NCAA resumes this afternoon as league leader Memphis visits Southern Miss.
Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
Southern Miss (18-5, 7-1) held a share of the C-USA lead until Wednesday’s 60-58 loss at Central Florida snapped a 10-game winning streak.
Memphis (19-3, 8-0) is on a 13-game winning streak since a mid-December loss to Louisville.
The Tigers have won their last nine road games – the longest such streak in the country. The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, have the nation’s fourth-longest homecourt winning streak, 23 games.
The last time Memphis lost on the road was a 75-72 loss in Hattiesburg last season. The Tigers have won 18 of the last 19 games in the series.
It’s the first game in the long-running rivalry series for new Southern Miss coach Donnie Tyndall. Memphis, which leads the series 64-24, will leave for the Big East after this season.
The league rivals appear to be a close matchup on paper, with both averaging 73.6 points per game. Southern Miss averages 58.4 on defense – tied for 25th nationally – while Memphis gives up an average of 63 points per game.
In projected RPI, Southern Miss is 36th and Memphis 37th at realtimerpi.com. Today’s game will be the first real “quality” win for either team this season.
Junior guard Joe Jackson leads Memphis with a 13.8-point scoring average. Dwayne Davis, a 6-foot-5 senior, leads Southern Miss in scoring (12.9).
The teams meet again on Feb. 23 at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.