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H-P Sports In Depth: Miners Continue Road Swing at Southern Miss

UTEP (2-12, 0-2 C-USA) wraps up a three-game Conference USA road swing on Saturday at Southern Miss (4-10, 1-1 C-USA) as it looks to stamp out an 11-game losing streak.

The Miners are 0-2 in Conference USA play for the first time as a league member and trying to avoid their first 0-3 league start since the 2001-02 season, when they were members of the Western Athletic Conference.

Southern Miss is 4-3 at Reed Green Coliseum this season, including 1-1 in Conference USA play with a loss to LA Tech (79-55) and a win over UTSA (77-59). The Miners are 0-4 on the road, have lost six consecutive away games dating back to the 2015-16 season and are seeking their first win in Hattiesburg since 2010.

UTEP will be home for seven of its next nine games, starting next week when it hosts FIU (Thursday) and Florida Atlantic (Saturday).  The Miners will open a three-game homestand versus the Panthers and the Owls.

ABOUT SOUTHERN MISS

–    The Golden Eagles ended a nine-game losing skid with a 77-59 victory over UTSA on Thursday.
–    Southern Miss got a major boost from the return of senior guard Khari Price, who made his season debut versus the Roadrunners.  Price played 31 minutes and tied for game-high scoring honors with 20 points.  He made 7-of-12 shots and 4-of-4 free throws while adding five rebounds and three assists.
–    With Price back in the lineup, the Golden Eagles scored 77 points.  It marked the first time they have topped 70 points since opening the season with a 101-96, double overtime victory over Tougaloo.  In fact, in each of the previous 12 games Southern Miss failed to exceed 64 points.
–    A Dayton transfer in his second year at Southern Miss, Price averaged 9.6 points per game in 2015-16 while starting 29 times.  He was 10-for-10 from the line against UTEP on Jan. 28, 2016 in Hattiesburg.
–    Senior guard/forward Quinton Campbell is second on the team in scoring in 2016-17, averaging 11.5 points per game.  Campbell also put 20 points on the board against UTSA, making 8-of-12 shots.
–    Sophomore guard Cortez Edwards made his fifth start of the season versus the Roadrunners and supplied his first career double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
–    The Golden Eagles trailed by six (39-33) at halftime but outscored UTSA 44-20 over the last 20 minutes.  Southern Miss held UTSA to 21.4 percent (6-for-28) shooting in the second half, including 0-for-11 from three-point range.  Southern Miss shot 53.6 percent in the second half, 50.9 percent for the game and scored 32 points in the paint.
–    The Golden Eagles are 4-3 at home this season and 0-7 outside of Hattiesburg.

SERIES HISTORY

–     UTEP  owns  a  14-11  advantage  in  the  Southern Miss series, but the Golden Eagles have won seven of the last 10 matchups and six of the last eight.
–    The Miners are 11-9 versus the Golden Eagles  since joining Conference USA.
–    UTEP is 3-8 all-time at Reed Green Coliseum with losses in its last five visits.
–     The  Miners  have  squandered sizeable leads in their last five trips to Hattiesburg.  UTEP  led  by  13  with  15:40  remaining  on  Feb.  16,  2011  (64-51  loss),  by  nine  with 16:33  remaining  on  Feb.  20,  2013  (45-39  loss), by  nine  with  18:19  remaining  on  Feb.  22,  2014 (77-68 loss), and by 24 with 11:39 remaining on Feb. 28, 2015 (63-60 loss).  Last year the Miners were up by 15 (22-7) about 11 minutes in before the Golden Eagles rallied for a 71-58 triumph.

THE LAST MEETING

–    Dominic Artis scored all 18 of his points in the second half as UTEP built a big lead, fell behind by seven points, then rallied for a 78-73 victory over Southern Miss on Feb. 18, 2016 at the Haskins Center.
–    The Miners, who laid a 17-0 run on Southern Miss in the first half of the previous year’s meeting at the Haskins Center, scored the game’s first 13 points. Moore (five points) and Earvin Morris (six) combined for 11 of the 13 points.
–    Southern Miss trimmed a 25-14 deficit down to one (29-28) with a 14-4 run.  UTEP led 36-34 at the half behind Moore, who scored 16 points.
–    The Golden Eagles took their first lead of the night, 41-40, on a jumper by Tim Rowe with 16:06 remaining.  Cortez Edwards’ layup with 11:08 to play completed a 14-3 run and gave Southern Miss its biggest lead at 50-43.
–    Artis started to assert himself offensively, scoring 10 of the next 15 points for the Miners.  His jumper at the 6:32 mark gave UTEP the lead for good, 58-56.
–    There were some anxious moments down the stretch, as Southern Miss pulled within one (66-65) on a Kourtlin Jackson layup with 2:44 to go.  But Harris hit a big three-pointer with 2:18 remaining and the Golden Eagles couldn’t get closer than three the rest of the game.
–    Besides the 18 points, Artis had five rebounds and seven assists for the Miners.  Moore scored 17 points, Harris 13, and Terry Winn added 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out midway through the second half.
–    Jackson scored 17 points. Price had 14 points and five assists and Michael O’Donnell, making his return from an injury, scored 11 points off the bench.

FLOYD’S HATTIESBURG TIES

–    UTEP Coach Tim Floyd’s hometown is Hattiesburg, Miss.
–    Floyd’s late father, Lee, coached the Golden Eagles for 14 seasons (1949-54 and 1962-71) and is the second-winningest coach in school history with 246 victories.
–    Floyd spent two seasons as a walk-on at Southern Miss before finishing his collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech.
–    He will be coaching against Southern Miss in Hattiesburg for the seventh time and is 0-6.  On Jan. 23, 1989, Floyd’s New Orleans squad dropped a 79-68 decision to the Golden Eagles.  He is 0-5 at UTEP, including a 71-58 setback a year ago.

SADLER’S UTEP TIES

–    Southern Miss Head Coach Doc Sadler was the head coach at UTEP for two seasons (2004-06).  He directed the Miners to a 48-18 record with berths in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 and the NIT in 2006.
–    Sadler led UTEP to the 2005 Western Athletic Conference tournament title.  He was also an assistant at UTEP under coach Billy Gillispie during the 2003-04 season, when the Miners went 24-8 and made the first of back-to-back appearances in the “Big Dance.”
–    Southern Miss Assistant Chris Croft was also on Sadler’s UTEP staff.

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