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Lady Eagles Falls at UCF, 65-47

Niesha Pierce connected on 4-of-8 from behind the arc

Jan. 15, 2012

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Southern Miss women's basketball team dropped its fourth-straight with a 65-47 loss to UCF on Sunday in Conference USA action.

The Lady Eagles fall to 6-11 overall and 0-4 in the league while UCF snapped a two-game skid and improved to 7-9 and 2-2.

"I couldn't be more proud of this basketball team for the first 17 minutes of the game," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We had nine assists to 10 baskets. We really shared the basketball and had a lot of good things going in the right direction. Niesha Pierce was hot as a firecracker. It's one of those situations you wished you didn't have to go in at the half. UCF came out and made that hard run and from there, the air was kind of let out of our tire. We just couldn't get going again."

Niesha Pierce was the only Lady Eagle to post double figure scoring with a team-high 16 points. Wendy Miller came off the bench to score eight points while Nitesha Pierce led the team with nine rebounds. USM leading scorer Tanecka Carey was held scoreless for the first time this season. Southern Miss was also playing with second-leading scorer Jamierra Faulkner as she did not make the trip due to personal reasons.

Gevenia Carter led all scorers with a game-high 23 points and Aisha Patrick added 19 points. Erika Jones pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for the Knights.

The game started out evenly with the teams battling to a 12-12 tie in the first 7:41 of the game. Southern Miss got back-to-back threes from Hannah Fletcher and Niesha Pierce to push ahead 18-12. Patrick connected a jumper for UCF before Niesha Pierce canned another three for the 21-14 lead. USM led 23-16 at the 8:34 mark in the half when Andrea Hines ignited a 13-0 run with a three-pointer. Carter followed with another three before Patrick came up with four points and Carter ended the run with another three-pointer for the Knights.

USM got a free throw from Nitesha Pierce and three from Niesha to get the Eagles to 29-27 before Patrick added a basket for the 31-27 lead. A pair of Fletcher free throws made the score 31-29 before the Knights ended the half with four-straight for the 35-29 halftime lead.

UCF started the second half scoring the first six points in pushing the lead to double digits, 40-29. Southern Miss mustered only three free throws in seven minutes, but was able to cut the lead to eight, 40-32. The Lady Eagles got their first field goal of the half when Niesha Pierce found Sedreka Plummer for a layup at the 13:10 mark in the game to get within 40-34. UCF then outscored USM 13-5 over a span of six minutes in taking a 14-point lead, 53-39. The Lady Eagles could not recover.

UCF won the battle of the boards as the Knights out rebounded USM, 45-28. UCF also came up with 13 steals and forced the Eagles into 22 turnovers.

Southern Miss returns to action when the Lady Eagles host Memphis on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.

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