Southern Miss Picks Up First Conference Win of Season
Southern Miss is now 16-7 all-time in Conference USA home openers
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss women’s basketball team (9-7, 1-2) picked up its first conference win of the season with a 65-50 win against LA Tech (11-5, 2-1) in Reed Green Coliseum Thursday night.
“We were fortunate to get a win tonight against a good team,” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis. “The Lady Eagles showed up in the first half and played with a high level of intensity, fought for every 50/50 ball and defended extremely well.”
The Lady Eagle’s lockdown defense held the Lady Techsters to a miserable 26.4 percent from the field for the game, marking the fourth time this season that an opponent has shot under 30 percent. Southern Miss put LA Tech’s offense in a chokehold in the first half by holding them scoreless for a total of 6:53, 5:14 of that coming at the close of the first quarter.
“The first half gave us our momentum,” McNelis said.
Jayla King paced the team with 19 total points, her fifth output of at least that many points this season, Shonte Hailes added 17 points, sinking a game-high nine free throws, and Respect Leaphart chipped in 10 points, her second double-figure scoring output of the season.
“That’s what we’ve been waiting on,” McNelis said of Leapart, a Fort Myers, Fla. native. “She was huge in getting us going.”
Southern Miss is now 16-7 all-time in Conference USA home openers and has won the past six straight C-USA home openers.
With tonight’s game being the lone contest of the week, Southern Miss will hit the road next week for contests at UAB and Middle Tennessee. The Lady Eagles will meet with the Blazers Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. and the Blue Raiders on Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.
Fans can watch the game on CUSA.TV or listen to Josh West on the broadcast via The Score 1400 AM and the Southern Miss Game Day App starting 30 minutes before tipoff. The second game of the road trip will be streamed on WatchESPN.com.