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Women's Basketball Hangs On for 54-51 Win Over UAB

Nitesha Pierce scored 10 points, all in the second half.

Nitesha Pierce scored 10 points, all in the second half.

Jan. 31, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior Jamierra Faulkner hit a pair of free throws with 3.4 second left in the game in leading Southern Miss past UAB by a score of 54-51 in Conference USA action Thursday night.

Southern Miss improved to 12-8 overall and 4-3 in league play while UAB dropped to 13-6 and 4-2.

"This was a very stressful night," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "Last year, we were up and got beat in this arena. We are up four points with 1:12 remaining and we try to figure out how to give it away. I will take responsibility for that one special play that caused us to have a turnover.

"This team found a way to win with all of the mistakes we made. Jamierra Faulkner did a marvelous job of putting this team on her shoulders and pulling us to a win."

Faulkner led all scorers with a game-high 26 points to go with six assists and four steals while Nitesha Pierce chipped in 10 points, all in the second half. Ance Celmina pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Southern Miss led 44-37 with 8:14 remaining when UAB began chipping away at the Lady Eagle lead. Karisma Chapman started the 10-w run when she converted a three-point play. She then followed with free to cut the lead to just three. Faulkner put the Lady Eagles up 46-41 before UAB scored the next seven points to take its first lead of the game at 48-46 when Kelsie Weynand concluded the run with a three-pointer with 4:54 remaining in the game.

Faulkner then scored back-to-back buckets and Tanecka Carey scored off a pass from Faulkner to give Southern Miss a 52-48 lead with 1:12 remaining. However, UAB would not go quietly. Chapman came up with a steal and Weynand scored to cut the lead to 52-50. UAB turned up its defensive pressure and forced the Lady Eagles into a couple of late turnovers, but the Blazers managed to score only a points in the process before Faulkner hit the two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining.

Southern Miss took the early lead and led by as many as 10, 17-7 at the 11:40 mark in the half. UAB then used an 11-1 run to tie the game at 18-18. During that run, the Lady Eagles were held scoreless over 6:18.

The Lady Eagles held a 21-20 halftime lead.

Weynand came off the bench to score a team-best 17 points while Amber Jones added 12 points and Chapman chipped in 10 points to go with six steals. Chelsee Black grabbed 11 rebounds.

Southern Miss finished the game shooting 42 percent while UAB connected on only 23.9 percent from the field. UAB scored 34 points off USM's 22 turnovers, but the Lady Eagles outscored UAB 28-12 in the paint.

Southern Miss returns to action on Sunday when the Lady Eagles host Tulsa in a 2 p.m. tip. The game has been designated as National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

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