Southern Miss Marches Back, Defeats Marshall 82-78
Huntington, W. Va. -- The Southern Miss Women's Basketball (14-8, 6-4) marched back, due to Brittny Norris' 33 second half points, to defeat Marshall (12-9, 4-6) 82-78 Thursday night.
"When I banked a shot from the free throw line I knew I was hot," Norris said. "I don't know how that went in. I just knew we were going to win. We had it."
Norris' 35 total points are not only a career-high and the most points scored by a Lady Eagle since 2015, but her second half performance was the most points ever scored in a half by a Lady Eagle.
"It was a huge win," said head coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "I didn't know if it could have gotten any worse in the first half. We could not buy a shot. We were sluggish and that's how we started the game. I can't say enough of how we battled and about Brittny Norris. She was absolutely amazing tonight. Fortunately we were smart enough and the team was smart enough to run plays so that she could get the ball back. She just did things easy. She played within her game and did not force the issue. We could've come in at the half and tanked, but we didn't.
The Lady Eagles had a horrific first half. Southern Miss made one of its first 17 shots and trailed 41-24 at half time. At one point the Lady Eagles were down by as many as 21 and were shooting 15 percent from the field.
"We're grinders," McNelis said. "That's who we are. That's how I was raised. Nothing is given."
Norris was 12-of-17 including seven three-point field goals and went four-of-six from the charity stripe.
The Lady Eagles gained the first lead of the game when Respect Leaphart got a steal and took it to the hoop. After two more lead changes and two ties, Norris would hit her seventh three of the night with 17 seconds left to seal the victory for Southern Miss.
The Lady Eagles victory was a team effort and every point was crucial. Brittanny Dinkins scored 22 points, Keri Jewett-Giles tallied eight, Shonte Hailes put in six, Tajanay Veiga had four, Leaphart squared up with four, and Megan Brown added two.
The Lady Eagles bench outscored Marshall's 52-2 and the team had a total of 32 points off 26 total turnovers. Southern Miss also outscored Marshall 58-37 in the second half.
Southern Miss heads southwest to Bowling Green, Ky. for a match up with Western Kentucky (16-6, 8-2) on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2:05 p.m. CT. Starting 30 minutes before tip, Lady Eagle fans can hear Josh West on the radio broadcast for the game on WFOR 1400 AM.