Jan. 22, 2012
Southern Miss has lost its last six games and falls to 6-13 on the season and 0-6 while Rice improved to 9-10 and 3-3.
"I think Jamierra Faulkner willed us in the first half to try to be able to close that gap," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We got our break and our transition going. But you have to give Rice credit because they cranked up the heat. We fought hard in the first half and it was led by Jamierra Faulkner. She wore down in the second half and we had some other players not step up and did not resume some responsibility."
Brianna Hypolite and Jessica Kuster led Rice with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Kuster led the team with seven rebounds.
The Owls came up with 35 points off 26 USM turnovers with 17 of the 26 turnovers steals for Rice. The Owls also scored 17 second-chance points while the Lady Eagles failed to score in that category. Rice won the battle of the boards, 46-30.
Rice scored the first three points before Southern Miss scored on a pair of free throws and a bucket to take a 4-3 lead. Kuster put Rice on top after a basket before Niesha Pierce gave the Eagles a lead again, 6-5. Rice then went on a 16-0 run over 9:38 and held USM scoreless in the process in taking a 21-6 lead.
However, Southern Miss did not go away. After trailing 26-8, the Lady Eagles outscored Rice 13-4 over the final 5:35 to get the lead down to nine, 30-21.
Faulkner cut the Owls led to seven after a bucket, 30-23, before Rice put the game out of reach with an 18-3 run over six minutes. USM was able to get the lead down to 17, but Rice answered with six straight to increase the margin to 57-34.
Southern Miss returns home to host league leader UTEP on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.
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