Southern Miss at Western Kentucky
|Date & Time||Friday March 15, 2019, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
Ford Center At The Star
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers +1 -- Over/Under- 132.5
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will square off at Ford Center At The Star this Friday afternoon in the Semifinals of the C-USA Men’s Championship.
The 3-seed Southern Miss Golden Eagles (20-11; 11-7) reached their 2nd straight C-USA Semifinals after defeating the Marshall Thundering Herd, 82-73, on Thursday night. Southern Miss had one of their better offensive performances of the season against the Marshall defense and pulled away late after taking a 79-71 lead with 1:15 left in regulation. Southern Miss shot 53.8% from the field and 52.6% from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Golden Eagles was Tyree Griffin who had 23 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1 steal.
Coming into their game against Marshall, Southern Miss was averaging 72.8 ppg on 46.8% shooting from the field. The Thundering Herd were are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 38.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Southern Miss has been led by Cortez Edwards (13.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.2 spg), Tyree Griffin (13.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 7.1 apg, 2.1 spg), LaDavius Draine (11.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg), and Leonard Harper-Baker (9.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.3 apg).
Defensively, Southern Miss was holding their opponents to an average 64.2 ppg on 39.8% shooting from the field. The Golden Eagles had a rebound margin of 0.3 and a turnover margin of 3.0.
The 2-seed Western Kentucky Hilltoppers had no issues reaching the Semifinals of the C-USA Tournament after defeating the 10-seed North Texas Mean Green, 67-51, this Thursday night. Western Kentucky was outstanding on the defensive end and had no trouble securing the victory after the Hilltoppers went into halftime with a 31-16 lead. Western Kentucky held North Texas to just 30.0% shooting from the field and 18.5% from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Hilltoppers was Taveion Hollingsworth who had 23 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal.
Coming into their game agianst North Texas, Western Kentucky was averaging 72.1 ppg on 45.2% shooting from the field. The Hilltoppers were averaging 6.0 three-pointers per game on 33.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Western Kentucky has been led by Charles Bassey (15.0 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.4 bpg), Taveion Hollingsworth (14.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.2 spg), Jared Savage (12.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.0 spg), and Josh Anderson (11.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.7 spg).
Defensively, Western Kentucky was allowing their opponents to average 70.4 ppg on 42.4% shooting from the field. The Hilltoppers had a rebound margin of 1.8 and a turnover margin of -1.1.
Western Kentucky was able to defeat Southern Miss in both of their regular season games this season as the Hilltoppers won by a 66-63 margin on the road in late January, while winning by a 76-71 margin at home in early March.
The Golden Eagles are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall and are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win. The Hilltoppers are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Western Kentucky was able to pull of victories against South Miss in both their games this season, however, I’m not reading too much into that as this is a very good Golden Eagles team that can really get at you at the defensive end as they rank 27th in scoring defense & 19th in defensive FG%. Western Kentucky is a solid team that has some big wins on their resume this season, however, they at times can struggle to score the basketball as they rank just 189th in scoring offense and aren’t much of a threat from beyond the arc as they rank just 319th in three-pointers made per game. I expect this to be a close game, however, I think the Southern Miss defense will have success in this one and I’m taking the Golden Eagles to cover this small spread. Good Luck!