HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Old Dominion women's basketball team shot a blistering 60.4 percent from the field including 61.5 percent from behind the arc and placed all five starters in double figures as Lady Monarchs defeated Southern Miss 92-82 in Conference USA action Wednesday night.
Southern Miss had its seven-game winning streak snapped and fell to 13-3 overall and 2-1 in league play while ODU improved to 8-9 and 1-2.
"Every time we would close the gap against ODU, they would come right back and make plays," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "Defensively we didn't play our best game. We didn't do some of the little things to win. We took some plays off, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Old Dominion shot the cover off the ball tonight."
Jamierra Faulkner tied a career-high with 36 points to lead all scorers while dishing out five assists to go with four steals. Jerontay Clemons added 20 points while Markia Nix recorded her first double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
"Faulkner definitely was a key in keeping up in the game tonight," McNelis said. "But another player who was a key was Markia Nix. She gave us a very solid performance. She rebounded the basketball and defended. Jerontay Clemons stepped up and played well. She is just now getting back in rhythm."
After leading by as many as 13 points with 6:47 remaining in the game, Southern Miss used an 11-3 run over a two-minute span to cut the lead to just five points, 76-71. Shae Kelley added 3-of-4 free throws before Faulkner hit her seventh three-pointer to go the home team within five points again at 79-74. ODU then scored five unanswered points to push its lead to 10 at the 1:45 mark in the game. Nix followed and Clemons added baskets around a free throw for ODU to get within seven, 85-78. However, the Lady Eagles were forced to put ODU on the free line in the final minute. ODU connected on 4-of-6 from the line while the Black and Gold went cold from the field to push its lead to 11 points, 89-78. Faulkner then hit her eighth triple with 40 seconds remaining to get the Southern Miss within 89-81.
Southern Miss opened the game scoring the first four points before ODU got on track and outscored the Lady Eagles 18-6 over a span of four minutes as Chelisa Painter and Tiffany Minor combined for 12 of the 18 points. Old Dominion led by as many as 12 points in the half behind the three-point shooting Minor. ODU led 39-29 at the 3:42 mark when Southern Miss outscored the Lady Monarchs 11-3 to cut the lead to 42-40. Clemons ended the half with a half-court shot that banked off the glass.
Southern Miss outscored ODU 39-32 in the paint and had 25 second chance points. The Lady Monarchs were 26-of-39 from the line and 29-of-48 from the field that included 8-of-13 from behind the arc. Southern Miss finished the game shooting only 39.5 percent.
Kelley led ODU with a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds followed by Painter with 17, Galaisha Goodhope scored 15 points while Minor and Stephanie Gardner chipped in 14 and 11 points, respectively. Goodhope also had six assists and six steals.
Southern Miss hits the road for a matchup against Tulane on Saturday with a tip time of 2 p.m.
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