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Lady Eagles Get Fourth Straight Home Win with 77-68 Decision over Houston

Feb. 18, 2010

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Candace Rucker tallied a career-high 27 points to lead Southern Miss to a 77-68 Conference USA women's basketball victory over Houston here Thursday night at Reed Green Coliseum and in front of a national television audience.

The Lady Eagles snapped a two-game winning streak as they also captured their fourth-straight home victory.

"After the two hard losses (last week), our players did not lose focus and showed up and practiced hard over the last few days," Southern Miss coach Joye-Lee McNelis said. "We got off to a great start tonight and played well in transition early as well as spreading the ball around well."

Pauline Love collected her 15th double-double of the season and 55th for her career with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Geneshia Dunbar tallied nine points and a season-best 13 rebounds. Erin Gatling also added nine points and a career-best seven rebounds as nine USM players found their way into the scoring column.

It was a couple of big runs early in the contest that broke open the contest for the Lady Eagles.

The Lady Eagles (8-17 overall, 4-8 C-USA) used runs of 7-0 and 15-0 over the first 10-plus minutes as UH managed to convert just two of their first 15 field goal attempts.

A lot of this was done without the services of Pauline Love who got two early fouls and only played six minutes in the opening half.

Still, Southern Miss jumped out to a 41-24 halftime advantage on the strength of 58.6 percent shooting (17-of-29) on the opening half.

Behind a game-high 25 points from Brittany Scott as well as 20 points from Courtney Taylor, UH tried to get back into the contest in the second half.

UH (13-12, 7-5) shot 55.6 percent in the second half, but Love notched but Rucker tallied 16 of her points over the final 20 minutes and Love added 11 points and 10 rebounds over that span to help the home team lead by double digits for most of the contest.

Prosche Landry also added 11 points for the visitors.

The Lady Eagles dominated the battle of the boards by outrebounding UH 49-34, while scoring 32 points in the paint.

The Lady Eagles conclude the two-game homestand with a 4 p.m., contest against Rice.

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