Eagle Invasion

Southern Mississippi and Ole Miss continue their current men's basketball series at noon Saturday in Oxford, having split games the past two seasons. Read more inside.

Ole Miss won 78-58 two years ago in Southaven, while Southern Miss won last season 78-59 in Biloxi.

It's been a while since a Golden Eagle team ran onto the Tad Smith Coliseum court, but at noon Saturday they'll be there for tipoff. On Dec. 19, 1995, the USM program's last appearance in Oxford, the Eagles lost to the Rebels 113-107 in two overtimes.

Southern Miss enters the contest with a 5-0 record, including wins over Division I teams Louisiana-Lafayette and Montana State, and three wins over NAIA teams Loyola (New Orleans), William Carey, and Spring Hill.

Coach Larry Eustachy's team is averaging 76.4 points per game and allowing 62.0 ppg, while out-rebounding opponents 40.6-26.6, an average margin of +14.0.

Three Golden Eagles are averaging in double figure points, led by Maurice Bolden's 16.4 ppg. Bolden has gotten to the free-throw line 39 times in five games and is shooting 84.6 percent from there. Gary Flowers adds 13.4 ppg, and R.L. Horton contributes 11.0.

The Rebels are coming off an impressive 79-57 road win at Arkansas State on Wednesday. Terrico White led the way with 19 points and Zach Graham added a season-high 17 on the strength of a career-high four 3-pointers. White and Chris Warren rank 4th and 5th in the SEC in scoring with 17.3 and 17.1 ppg, respectively.

Coach Andy Kennedy's squad is one of six SEC teams currently with one or fewer losses, but the Rebs sit atop the SEC West as the only one-loss team in the division.

Ole Miss is offering free student tickets and reducing all remaining tickets to $5 for Saturday's "Showdown in O-Town" against Southern Miss. All parking lots surrounding the coliseum will be open to fans, free of charge. The first 200 Ole Miss students in attendance will receive free T-shirts, while students also have a chance to win one of 25 season ticket packages that will be given away during the game.

QUICK NOTES

- Ole Miss is receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today coaches poll for the fourth straight week.

- The Rebels lead the all-time series with the Golden Eagles 16-5, including a 7-0 mark in Oxford.

- Ole Miss has a 44-11 record against non-conference opponents under Kennedy.

- Kennedy has led Ole Miss to a 47-7 home record in his four seasons, including a 29-1 mark against non-league foes at Tad Smith Coliseum. The lone loss was last season against West Virginia, a close 80-78 setback.

- Ole Miss currently ranks second among SEC teams with 9.4 steals per game, third with a +4.3 turnover margin and third with 82.3 points per game.

- Preseason All-SEC and preseason Naismith and Wooden Award candidate Terrico White ranks fourth in the SEC with 17.3 ppg.

- Preseason All-SEC point guard Chris Warren ranks fifth in the league with 17.1 ppg and fourth with 2.6 3-pointers per contest.

- Terrance Henry is the first Rebel since Jarrell Evans in 1993 to start the season by making each of his first 10 shots from the field.

- Saturday's game on FS South is the fourth of at least 21 Ole Miss games scheduled for live television this season, including all 16 regular-season conference games as part of the SEC's 15-year deals with CBS and ESPN. The Rebels had a school-record 22 games televised in 2006-07.

(Joey Jones of UM athletics media relations contributed to this story.)


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