Southern Miss at South Alabama
When and Where: Saturday, Nov. 9, Mitchell Center, Mobile, Ala., 8 p.m. EST.
After rolling to easy against overmatched non-Division I opponents, Southern Miss and South Alabama hope to have worked out all off their rust ahead of Saturday night's showdown in Mobile.
Jacdonmi impresses in Golden Eagles' victoryAnother former player with strong ties to his alma mater, Jay Ladner took over Southern Miss this season after five at Southeastern Louisiana. A member of the 1987 team that won the NIT, Ladner's coaching debut in Hattiesburg began with a 90-71 romp past Delta State on Tuesday night.
Pretty cool to see @i_am_bo_j13 and @jboogi10 on the national scoring and assists lists after last night. 📈— Southern Miss MBB (@SouthernMissMBB) November 7, 2019
Boban's 29 points were the most by a Golden Eagle in a season opener since Charles Gaines (33) in 2002. #SMTTT pic.twitter.com/dUThWDms5v
Boban Jacdonmi hit 12 of 16 shots en route to a career-high 29 points -- he had 30 in 23 games last season -- while Tyler Stevenson and Jay Malone were potent off the bench. Stevenson had 18 points while Malone dished out 10 assists in just 19 minutes.
"He's a player that has not experienced a lot of personal success, but he plays his tail off every single day," Ladner said of Jacdonmi to the school's official website. "I was so glad to see him have such a big night. I thought he made a great move to start the game with a left-handed jump hook, and hopefully this will be a confidence-booster for him, especially with our lack of seniority on the team."
Southern Miss shot a torrid 57.6 percent and forced Delta State into 20 turnovers while scoring 58 points in the paint.
“Certainly, being able to get that first one under our belt, we’ll take it, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Ladner told the Sun Herald. “We made a lot of improvement (from last Tuesday’s 73-68 exhibition win over Mississippi College), but we’ve got a long way to go.”
South Alabama leads the all-time series 26-17 and emerged with a 71-67 victory at home last season as Leonard Harper-Baker had 18 points and nine rebounds. Harper-Baker filled the stat sheet against Delta State, finishing with 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and two steals.
Jaguars show balanced offense in easy winRichie Riley's second season in South Alabama kicked off on a positive note with an 82-51 rout of Pikeville College -- where Riley served as an assistant from 2006-09 -- on Tuesday night. Chad Lott scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures as the Jaguars shot 51.6 percent and forced 18 turnovers while holding the Bears to 2 of 13 shooting from 3-point range and 32.2 percent shooting overall.
"For the fan that is seeing him on the court for the first time, they might think that he's making tough shots, but they aren't tough for him; I see him do it every day in practice," Riley said of Lott to South Alabama's official website. "He is a competitive guy and may be the most competitive that I've ever coached. That's a bold statement but day in and day out, this is what we see at practice. He's not perfect, but he's perfect for me because he plays so hard and just cares about winning."
Josh Ajayi, who had 13 points and 13 rebounds, is the only returning player for South Alabama who scored in double figures in last season's game with 11 points. The Jaguars won the last meeting between the teams in Mobile in 2017 but have lost eight of their last 10 at home versus Southern Mississippi.
Southern Miss is:
- 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 games as an underdog.
- 8-2-1 ATS in its last 11 games as an underdog.
- The road team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven games between the teams.
South Alabama is:
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games as a favorite between 7-12.5 points.
- 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games following a straight up win by 20 or more points.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five home games vs. Southern Miss.