RUSTON, La. - The Southern Miss women's basketball ended the game on a 7-0 run to defeat Louisiana Tech 67-56 in the Conference USA opener on Wednesday night.
Southern Miss improves to 12-2 overall and 1-0 while LA Tech dropped to 5-9, 0-1.
"I thought this was a great win," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "The greatest thing about this game was for the first 34 minutes we played well. We are not satisfied by any means for the way we finished the game. We have to finish stronger than what we did.
"Markia Nix was a big key for us tonight in getting this win," said McNelis. "She hit some layups when we needed them and provided us with some great leadership on the court with the freshmen."
"We had another bench player get into the game and provided us with a spark," McNelis said. "Kierra Jordan is probably the most productive post player per minute. Once again, Jamierra Faulkner led this team. Her leadership was very solid on the floor. Brittanny Dinkins continues to help this team excel."
The Lady Eagles finished the game shooting 43.6 percent from the field including 57.7 percent in the second half. Southern Miss got 23 points off 26 Lady Techster turnovers. The Black and Gold outscored LA Tech 32-18 in the paint and had 16 fastbreak points. The Golden Eagle bench supplied 30 points.
Southern Miss took a 31-28 lead in the first 1:30 to start the half. LA Tech then outscored Southern Miss 8-0 to tie the game at 31-31. After trading baskets, Faulkner ignited a 9-0 run hitting the first of two free throws in giving the Black and Gold a 42-33 lead. LA Tech answered with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 42-41. For the next 1:49, the Lady Eagles scored 11 straight points to push the lead to double-digits for the first time, 53-41. LA Tech fought back to within four, 56-60, but Southern Miss ended the game with a 7-0 run for the win.
In the final1:10, Southern Miss connected on 5-of-5 from the free line to help seal the win. Prior to that, the Lady Eagles were a dismal 9-of-28 from the line.
Both teams got off to a slow start, struggling to get any offense going in the first seven minutes. Louisiana Tech managed to take a 9-5 lead before Southern Miss tied the game at 9-9 with a pair of baskets and free throw. The teams traded baskets for the next six minutes. With LA Tech leading 15-14, Southern Miss scored five unanswered points in taking a 19-15 lead. The Lady Techsters added a free before Dinkins hit a three-pointer to help push the lead to 22-16. Southern Miss led 27-21 at the half.
LuLu Perry led LA Tech with 17 points and a game-high 16 rebounds while Whitney Frazier added 11 points.
Southern Miss returns home to host UTSA in a nationally televised game on Saturday at 3 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. This game has been designated as the BLACKOUT Game - Wear BLACK to support your Lady Eagles. Youth Team Day - Free Admission for all youth teams that submit a team roster. For more information please contact Leigh Ann Holland, Marketing Associate, via email at L.Holland@eagles.usm.edu.
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