Feb. 21, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Memphis outscored Southern Miss 14-8 in overtime in taking an 80-74 win over the Lady Eagles on Thursday night in Reed Green Coliseum.
Southern Miss falls under .500 for the first time this season to 12-13 overall and 4-8 in league play while Memphis improved to 15-11 overall and 6-6.
"The difference in this was the physical presence that Memphis had," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "They pushed us around, willed their way offensively in the paint and rebounded the basketball. We had every chance to win this game, but tonight we didn't have that presence inside and they did.
"I thought our effort was good," McNelis said. "Jamierra Faulkner played very hard and I don't know how much more you can ask of her. She was exhausted at the end and we just ran out of gas."
Southern Miss led by as many as eight points early in the second half, but Memphis was able to whittle down the lead before taking a four-point lead over Southern Miss with 1:20 remaining in regulation. Faulkner connected on a pair of free throws and Ance Celmina followed with a bucket to cut the lead to 65-64 with 36 seconds remaining in regulation. Ariel Hearn hit one-of-two free throws for the Tigers with just nine seconds remaining. Faulkner then took the inbounds pass and went the length of the court and scored on a layup to tie the game with just 1.0 second remaining.
The Lady Eagles hit the first basket in overtime, but Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir hit a three to put the visitors ahead, 69-68. Faulkner followed with a jumper just inside the paint before finding Nitesha Pierce underneath for a basket to put the Lady Eagles ahead, 72-69.
Memphis took advantage of offensive rebounds down the stretch as Abdul-Qaadir and Hearn scored off an offensive rebounds to give Memphis a 73-72 lead. The teams traded baskets before Nicole Dickson converted one of two from the line but was able to grab her miss forcing the Lady Eagles to send the Tigers back to the line. Memphis sealed the win as the Tigers made four-of-four free throws in the final 16 seconds.
The home team ran out to a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game connecting on their first four shots. Memphis began chipping away at the Lady Eagle lead as Dickson scored back-to-back field goals for the Tigers to get the score to 9-5. Clemons then kick started a 9-0 run with a pair of free throws followed by a Faulkner jumper just inside the paint. Carey hit her second three-pointer before Clemons added another pair of free throws to give the Black and Gold a double digit lead at 18-5.
For the next 2:52, Memphis outscored Southern Miss 11-0 in cutting the lead to 18-16. After a couple of turnovers by each team and missed shots, Faulkner hit a driving layup, but Memphis came right back to answer. Hope then hit one of two frees from Memphis to get the lead down to 20-19 before Faulkner connected on a jumper for the 22-19 lead. The Tigers finally tied the game on a Hearn three-pointer. From there, it was back and forth for the reminder of the half until Carey hit a three to give Southern Miss a 29-26 halftime lead.
Dickson and Hearn led Memphis with 22 points apiece while Pa'Sonna Hope added 11 points off the bench and Abdul-Qaadir chipped in 10. Dickson also grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds.
The Tigers held a big advantage over the Lady Eagles in rebounding, 58-33, and outscored USM 23-2 in second chance points.
Southern Miss returns to action on Sunday when the Lady Eagles host UAB at 2 p.m. The Children's Center for Communication and Development will be featured and recognized during the game.
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