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Women's Basketball Falls to Houston, 81-70

Tanecka Carey led the way with a game-high 19 points.

Jan. 24, 2013

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HOUSTON, Texas - Southern Miss placed five players in double figure scoring but it wasn't enough as Houston defeated the Lady Eagles by a score of 81-70 Thursday night in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Southern Miss falls to 10-8 and 2-3 in C-USA while Houston improved to 9-8 and 3-1.

"In the first half you have to give Houston credit," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "They shot the ball very well and they hit shots that they normally don't make. They are not a great outside shooting team, but tonight they showed up.

"We did not defend the way we needed to defend by any means," said McNelis. "We gave up too many second chance possessions. The second half I thought we came out with focus. I thought we played with heart and soul in the second half. We rebounded better and were able to get the shots we wanted. We just came up short tonight."

Senior Tanecka Carey led the Black and Gold with a team-best 19 points including 15 in the second half followed by Jamierra Faulkner with 16, Ance Celmina, Jerontay Clemons and Tiarra Pollnitz scored 10 points apiece.

Southern Miss trailed by as many as 19 points when the Lady Eagles used a 12-2 run to get the lead below double digits at 57-48. USM continued to chip away that the Cougar lead when Carey connected on back-to-back threes in cutting the lead to just six points, 60-54, before Houston scored six unanswered points to put the Cougars up, 66-54. Pierce converted a pair of free throws and Clemons hit a layup off an offensive rebound to cut the lead to 66-48. After a Houston free throw, Southern Miss outscored the Cougars 6-2 when Pollnitz hit a layup and Faulkner hit back-to- back baskets to pull the Lady Eagles within five, 69-64, with 3:53 remaining. But Houston was able to come up with a big offensive rebound and put back then converted a three-point play and added a layup for the 76-65 lead. Carey connected on her final three to get the margin to eight, 76-68 with 2:06 to go, but Houston was able to add five more points down the stretch for the win.

After Houston scored the first basket of the game, Southern Miss came right back to take a 7-4 lead. However, Houston used a 7-1 lead to run the score to 11-7. Tanecka Carey and Ance Celmina scored back-to-back baskets to the Lady Eagles up 12-11.

Houston then scored the next five of the next six points to push the lead to 16-12. The Black and Gold cut the lead to 16-14 on a Nitesha Pierce free throw and Tiarra Pollnitz layup. On Houston's next possession, Landry got free for a jumper before Pollnitz answered with a three. Houston came right back with a three of its own before Faulkner hit a jumper and three-pointer to cut the lead to 24-23. From there, Houston used a 9-1 run in pushing the lead to 33-24. Houston was able to close out the half with a 5-4 run for the 38-28 halftime lead.

Porsche Landry led Houston with 17 points while Marche' Amerson added a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Te'onna Campbell scored 15 points and Marissa Ashton chipped in 12 points.

Houston held the rebounding edge, 48-46, while Southern Miss had 19 points off 17 Houston turnovers.

Southern Miss returns home to host Rice on Sunday with a 2 p.m. start.

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