LA Tech Opens C-USA Play on New Year's Day at Southern Miss
Dec. 31, 2016
RUSTON – New year, new season, familiar opponent.
Louisiana Tech will officially begin its fourth season in Conference USA come New Year’s Day when they travel to take on longtime foe Southern Miss at 2 p.m. inside Reed Green Coliseum.
This marks the third straight season that the Bulldogs and Golden Eagles will open up C-USA action against one another and it will be the 78th meeting all-time, a series that dates all the way back to 1932.
LA Tech (8-5) will be looking to win its conference opener for the fifth straight year. The ‘Dogs will also be looking to pick up its first true road victory of the season, having lost all four so for this season.
The team has been stellar at home though, including a recent 95-53 demolishing of LSU-Shreveport that came three days before Christmas. Five Bulldogs scored in double figures in that final non-conference game, led by senior Erik McCree who had 23 points and nine rebounds in just 19 minutes of action.
McCree continues to lead the team in both statistical categories (17.8 ppg and 9.1 rpg) and has a history of playing well against Southern Miss (3-9). Last season, he averaged 27.5 points and 10 rebounds in two games against the Golden Eagles.
The point guard Bracey is currently averaging 5.8 assists per game which ranks third in the league. He also has a +4.0 assist/turnover ratio which is ninth best in Division I basketball and the best of any freshman.
Harris was named C-USA Co-Freshman of the Week this past week after coming off the bench to register two double-digit scoring performances. The shooting guard has scored in double figures in four of the last five games, averaging 12.7 points per game this season.
Southern Miss (3-9) opened the season with three victories in their first four games, but the Golden Eagles have since lost eight in a row. They recently participated in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic where they suffered losses to San Diego State, Stephen F. Austin and host Hawai’i.
Forward Quinton Campbell has started all 12 games for USM and is the lone player averaging double-digit points with an average of 10.4 per contest.
LA Tech has won five straight in the series which is the longest winning streak against the Golden Eagles, but USM leads the all-time series 42-35.
The Golden Eagles had won eight straight in the series in Hattiesburg, but the Bulldogs ended that 43-year drought with an 83-70 victory in 2015. The ‘Dogs were also a 70-59 winner at Reed Green Coliseum last season.
Sunday will mark only the third time in recorded history that LA Tech will play on New Year’s Day. The other two times came in 1978 and 2005.
Fans can access live video via the Internet by subscribing to CUSA.tv. The game can also be heard live on the LA Tech Sports Network on KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston) as well as on the LA Tech X Mobile app. The "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz will call the play-by-play.
Twitter users can receive live in-game updates by following @LATechHoops.
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