Southern Miss earned their first conference win and snapped an eight-game losing streak against the North Texas Mean Green 75-71, Jan. 25. The Golden Eagles (6-12, 1-5 C-USA) now face the Marshall Thundering Herd in a game eerily similar to the one against North Texas.
Marshall (5-15, 1-6 C-USA) comes off an emotional win over UTEP, 78-71 and snapped their nine game losing streak, including 15 against Division I teams.
The Thundering Herd caught fire from three-point range, shooting 37 percent for the game. Marshall was lead by junior guard Justin Edmonds who shot 5-9 from three to go along with a career high 20 points.
However, if the Golden Eagles had hoped to lock down on Edmunds they will be disappointed. The Thundering Herd had three other players score double-digit points against UTEP and distributed the ball masterfully.
The Golden Eagles are also coming off an emotionally charged win as they defeated North Texas in overtime. They were led by Chip Armelin who scored a career-high 30 points and has been on a hot streak lately.
Norville Carey assisted with 18 points and 12 rebounds, good enough for a double-double, the second of his career. Matt Bingaya also returned to form and added 12 points to go along with nine boards.
The Golden Eagles shared the basketball well and it showed as three players went for double figures. They will need much of the same against Marshall.
Southern Miss also has a huge advantage over Marshall. They play at Reed Greene Coliseum where the Golden Eagles have five of their six wins. Marshall has also yet to win a game on the road and should be a huge benefit for USM.
Marshall will be a tough out for the Golden Eagles if they allow them open air space to shoot the three ball. Marshall shot 27 three pointers, sinking 10 against UTEP and are among the nation leaders in three point attempts.
The Thundering Herd also have a consecutive streak of 743 games in which they have made a three pointer starting since March 3, 1989 and joining an elite list that includes Duke and Kentucky.
The Golden Eagles will have to pressure the Thundering Herd and stick to them man-to-man. Playing zone against them will prove costly and might cost USM their second consecutive victory.
However, if they play Marshall in tight man-to-man situations they will take away their main point of emphasis in their offense.
On the flip side, the Golden Eagles must simply replicate their game plan against North Texas. Make the passes and run their offense. Let Armelin and Carey shoot. They have been on fire recently and have no signs of cooling off and will only increase their confidence with each shot.
If Southern Miss sticks to their game plan and plays the way they are capable of playing they will come away with their second win.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Reed Greene Coliseum