Jan. 8, 2012
The Lady Eagles fall to 6-9 overall and 0-2 in the league while Houston snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 2-12 overall and 1-1.
"I thought we played in panic-mode today," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We didn't have the leadership we needed today and when that happens, we struggle. We didn't get the easy baskets and when we did we couldn't convert. We just played with a lack of confidence today."
Jamierra Faulkner led Southern Miss with 13 points and 10 assists and Tanecka Carey added 10. For Houston, Roxana Button led all scorers with 17 points, all in the first half, while Jennifer Nwokedi came off the bench to score 11 and Amanda Lawson chipped in 10.
The game started off slow, as each team committed four turnovers and scored just once in the first 4:30. Following a jumper by Mae Woods, Southern Miss grabbed its first lead by going on a 10-0 run to take a 12-4 lead with 12:33 to play.
However, Houston came right back, going on its own 10-0 run behind a pair of three-pointers by Button to retake the lead, 14-12, 2:34 later.
The Lady Eagles came right back, scoring the next seven points to take a 19-14 lead with 7:10 to play in the half.
But the Cougars took over the half. Button hit a pair of jumpers to pull within one point, and a three-pointer by Lawson gave UH the lead.
Ewa Urbanowska's jumper tied the game at 21 with 3:21 remaining. Houston retook the lead on Lawson's jumper, and Button followed with a three-pointer and a lay-up off a long pass from Michelle White to cap off a 14-2 run to end the half and send the Cougars into halftime with a 28-21 lead.
Southern Miss opened the second half scoring seven of the first 10 points over the first 3:21 to pull within 31-28. Terran Alford kick-started a 9-0 run with a pair of free throws followed by a three-pointer from White and finished with Nwokedi scoring a pair of jumpers in the paint for th3e 40-28 lead. Southern Miss was able to answer with a 6-0 run to get within six, 40-34, at the 9:54 mark.
Houston pushed the lead by to double digits on a Woods jumper with 5:47 to go before the Lady Eagles outscored Houston, 10-1, over 3:12 to cut the lead to just two points, 48-46, with 2:20 remaining in the game. Five different players contributed to the run. Amanda Lawson added a big basket off an offensive rebound put Houston up by 50-46. Southern Miss had a chance to cut the lead to two again, but Faulkner made only one-of-two from the line and Houston Alford got loose for a short jumper to put the Cougars on top by five, 52-47. Houston sealed the game, hitting its final four free throws in the last four seconds.
"Hats off the Houston because they did a nice job today," McNelis said. "They shot the ball well from the field, including 41 percent from behind the three-point line. That was the difference. They were able to knock down some shots and we couldn't buy any."
The two teams combined for 99 rebounds and 48 turnovers.
Southern Miss now hits the road for a pair of road games beginning at Marshall on Jan. 11 and finish with a matchup at UCF on Jan. 15.
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