The Tigers lead the all-time series vs. Southern Miss 10-1, including a 73-69 decision last year vs. a team that won its league championship. This year USM comes into their meeting with Auburn following a loss. USM fell 74-50 to Western Kentucky to end a three-game winning streak. That was the same day that Auburn pounded UNC-Asheville.
The Tigers and Golden Eagles have one common opponent. USM defeated South Alabama 76-66 while Auburn took a 73-58 victory over the Jaguars.
Auburn center Kyle Davis has been limited in practice due to the flu, however, he is expected to see playing time vs. USM. Sophomore forward Abdou Diame is not practicing with the team this week and is expected to transfer.
Senior and a sophomore forwards, who are both six-foot-five, have been the key scorers for Southern Miss so far this season. Senior Elvin Mims is averaging 18.8 points and 6.7 rebounds. Sophomore Clement Carter is averaging 12 points and 5.8 rebounds.
Ben Lambert, a 6-9, 230-pound junior, will start at center and averages 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. The guards are 6-1, 185 senior Brandon Richards (7.8 points, 2.6 assists) and 6-2 freshman Dante Stiggers (3.2 points, 2.7 assists).
The Tigers open conference play on Jan. 5th at home vs. Arkansas.
Meanwhile, the 19th-ranked women's team has traveled across the country to resume play following a Christmas break and the unbeaten Tigers take on unbeaten and fifth-ranked Iowa State on Friday in San Diego, Calif.
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CST from the University of San Diego's Jenny Craig Pavilion in the opening round of the Surf & Slam Hoop Classic. San Diego will face Texas-San Antonio in the second game of the tournament on Friday at 10 p.m. CST. The winners will meet on Sunday at 10 p.m. CST in the championship game. The losers will play in the consolation game at 8 p.m. CST.
Carol Smith averages 9.7 points per game for the Tigers as a senior point guard.
The Tigers, who are 11-0, have been off since they trounced Troy State 86-44 on Dec. 20th. Iowa State is 10-0.
Sophomore center Tia Miller leads the Tigers with averages 12.9 points and 7.1 rebounds and sophomore forward Le'Coe Willingham is averaging 10.5 points and grabbing 7.6 rebounds.
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