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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/18/13

Southern Miss Golden Eagles (9-1) at Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (5-4)

College Basketball: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm (EA Diddle Arena)

The Line: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers +2 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN3.com

The Southern Miss Golden Eagles look for their fourth straight when they take the road to face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Wednesday.

Southern Miss is 9-1 and winners in three in a row since dropping their only game of the season to then #9 Louisville Nov. 29. In their last outing Saturday, the Golden Eagles throttled St. Catherine (MN) 96-60 behind 58 percent sharpshooting and 23 points on 9 of 11 shooting from senior F Daveon Boardingham. Southern Miss was unable to open up a significant lead until the midway point of the first half when they went on a 17-3 run that spanned over seven minutes, giving the Golden Eagles a 43-29 advantage at the half.  St. Catherine got as close as 11 at one point in the second half, but the rout took shape quickly and Southern Miss led by as many as 37. Sophomore G Matt Bingaya had 17 points on 5 of 8 from the field and connected on 6 of 8 from the free throw line, while junior G Chip Armelin 13 points and 5 steals. On the season, the Golden Eagles are averaging 70.1 ppg on 45 percent shooting and senior G Neal Watson leads the team with 11.7 ppg.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/18/13

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Western Kentucky, meanwhile, comes in with a record of 5-4 and fresh off a 79-63 loss to #6 Louisville Saturday, in which the Hilltoppers struggled from the field, shooting 36 percent from the field and connecting on 7 of 21 from beyond the arc. Junior G T.J. Price scored a team-high 22 points on 8 of 16 shooting and hit 4 of 7 from downtown. W. Kentucky traded baskets with the Cardinals the entire first half and went into the break trailing 31-28. It was a tale of two halves, however, and Louisville caught fire midway through the second with a 13-0 run that pushed the lead to 63-44 with six minutes remaining. The Hilltoppers were unable to threaten from there. Through 9 games, W. Kentucky is averaging 63.6 ppg on 38 percent shooting and Price leads the team with 16.3 ppg on 38 percent from the field.

The line in this one opened up at -2 for Southern Miss and both these teams have lost handily to Louisville, but the result for the Golden Eagles was more questionable, scoring just 38 points and losing by 29, while W. Kentucky lost to the Cardinals by 16, shot and came away with 63 points. Southern Miss still gets the lean, though, in what figures to be a tightly contested matchup.

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