Southern Miss Falls 85-79 to Charlotte in Double Overtime
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss women’s basketball team’s win streak was snapped in a double overtime loss, 85-79, to the Charlotte 49ers. This was the sixth double overtime game in program history and the first since the 2014 WNIT against Mississippi State.
The Lady Eagles controlled the game for a majority of the first half, but let Charlotte take the lead in the third quarter. Respect Leaphart put the team on her back by scoring 10 straight points to close the third period of play, nullifying the 49ers advantage. During Leaphart’s offensive rampage, the Southern Miss defense buckled down and held Charlotte field goal less for more than five minutes.
The Lady Eagles would let the advantage slip later in the fourth quarter, but buckets from Jayla King and Shonte Hailes would keep the Lady Eagles in the contest. A fast break layup by Hailes, plus a converted free throw, would tie the contest with 16 seconds left in regulation and force regulation.
“We grew up in regulation when we were able to battle back from being down,” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis.
The two team’s would clash for a combined 12 points in the first overtime period, but Charlotte was able to outscore the Lady Eagles 14-8 in the final extended period to take a 2-0 lead on Southern Miss this season.
“We battled that first overtime, but it got away from us in the second,” McNelis said. “We play good basketball when we play who we are. Our identity has developed and Charlotte did a good job of defending us. As a young team, we have to learn that you can’t give in when your back is against the wall. We have a short turnaround and we have to learn how to respond.”
Hailes paced the team on offense for the third straight game after an 18 point performance and three other Lady Eagles, King, Megan Brown and Leaphart, tallied double-digits scoring figures.
“We knew we could get back into the game in regulation, but I just ran out of gas in overtime,” Hailes said. “The team goes as I go. If I slow down then they slow down.”
Southern Miss welcomes the Roadrunners of UTSA next on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. The second home game of the week will be Mascot Day. Come watch as Seymour and his mascot friends (including Sir Saint from the New Orleans Saints) entertain the crowd throughout the game and play in a mascot basketball game at halftime. All fans will also be able to enter to win a basketball autographed by Jrue Holladay of the New Orleans Pelicans. As always, Seymour's Sidekicks get in free to all Lady Eagle basketball games but at this game all Sidekicks will receive a free water bottle and get to be a part of the pregame tunnel during team introductions.
Fans can watch the game on CUSA.TV or listen to Josh West on the broadcast via The Score 1400 AM or the Southern Miss Game Day App starting 30 minutes before tipoff.