DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 15, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) -- Athens, Georgia. Television: FSN. Home Record: USM 1-0, UGA 1-1. Away Record: USM 0-0, UGA 0-0. Neutral Record: USM 0-0, UGA 0-0. Conference Record: USM 0-0, UGA 0-0. Series Record: Georgia leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Southern Miss Golden Eagles will try to continue their success when they visit Stegeman Coliseum to take on the Georgia Bulldogs in the regional round of the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic.
Southern Miss enters with a 1-0 record after it outlasted Western Kentucky for a 67-64 overtime win in its season opener. The victory was the first for the program's new head coach Donnie Tyndall. USM shot just 36.7 percent from the field in the contest, but it managed to come out on top by limiting WKU to 32.8 percent shooting. Deon Edwin was the hero of the event as he made four free throws in overtime to give USM a lasting advantage in the extra period.
The Bulldogs enter with a 1-1 mark after they were defeated 68-56 by Youngstown State on Monday. Georgia managed to defeat Jacksonville 68-62 in its season opener, but it struggled in that contest as well. Coach Mark Fox is now in his fourth season with the program and has compiled a 51-47 overall record during his tenure in Athens.
This will be just the third meeting between these programs on the hardwood. Georgia owns a 2-0 lead in the all-time series that has been idle since 1975.
Although Edwin came up clutch in overtime for Southern Miss in its season opener, he was not one of the three Golden Eagles to score in double figures. The program not only has a new coach, it also has a new trio of scorers. Junior guards Jerrold Brooks and Michael Craig tied for the team-lead with 13 points each in their USM debuts. Both players are new additions to the roster this season after spending their first two seasons of collegiate basketball in the junior college circuit. Dwayne Davis also reached double figures in the team's win with 11 points. The senior forward from Philadelphia is also a new member of the active squad after being forced to sit out last season due to academic reasons.
The Bulldogs may be disappointing overall this season early on, but their star shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has done his part. The sophomore swingman scored 27 points and drained five 3-pointers in the loss to Youngstown State. He has also recorded nine steals and pulled down 12 rebounds through two games. Nemanja Djurisic is the only other UGA player to show any signs of life in the early going. He recorded a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards versus Jacksonville, but he disappeared to go 0-of-9 from the field against YSU.
The rest of the Bulldogs need to give Caldwell-Pope some consistent help. If Georgia fails to do so, the newly implemented transfer trio of the Golden Eagles will hand the SEC program its second straight loss.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Miss 70, Georgia 63
11/15 10:34:16 ET
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