March 1, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Jamierra Faulkner and Tanecka Carey combined for 38 points but it wasn't enough as Southern Miss fell to East Carolina in the final regular season game, 70-57, snapping a three game winning streak.
Southern Miss falls to 12-17 overall and 6-10 in Conference USA while East Carolina improved to 11-18 and 5-11.
Faulkner led all scorers with a game-high 22 points for the Lady Eagles while Carey added 16 and Sedreka Plummer chipped in 10 points off the bench. Faulkner also led the team with nine rebounds, six assists and six steals.
Britny Edwards led the ECU with 17 points followed by Chareya Smith 15 and Kristine Mial added 11. Celeste Stewart was the top rebounder with nine rebounds.
"We came out very flat tonight with no energy," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We didn't play well until the final four minutes of the game. You have to give East Carolina credit because they executed their offense very well. They got a ton of open shots because our defensive rotation was not there. They also pounded us on the boards."
East Carolina put the first points on the board before Southern Miss used an 8-0 run for the 8-2 lead as Faulkner scored six of the eight points. Celeste Stewart connected on a short jumper to make it 8-4. Both teams hit a cold spell for a short three minute span before Faulkner and Chareya Smith traded baskets for each team before the Pirates used a 14-2 run in taking a 22-14 lead at the 9:00 mark in the half and never looking back.
USM was able to get the Pirates lead down to five, 24-19, before the home team scored nine unanswered points for a double digit lead. Mial started the run with a three-pointer followed by Edwards three-point play. Mial then capped off the run with another three-ball. Faulkner then hit a basket and converted one-of-two from the line to get within 36-24 before ECU scored the final seven points to enjoy a 43-24 half time lead.
Southern Miss scored the first five points to start the second half, but just as quick East Carolina countered with five straight points from Janesha Ebron. East Caroline maintained a sizable margin in the second half as the Pirates built a 20-point by the first media timeout. Plummer scored two quick baskets from Faulkner for the 52-35 score.
The teams traded baskets before Faulkner hit a free and Carey followed with a three-pointer to get the lead down to 15 points (56-41). ECU eventually pushed its lead to 22 points (70-48) with 3:12 remaining before Southern Miss closed out the game with a 9-0 run.
ECU held the rebounding edge, 47-42 and outscored the Lady Eagles, 15-8 in second chance points. The Pirates got a big boost from the bench as ECU scored 32 points from four players.
Southern Miss will now travel to Memphis for the 2012 Basketball Championship scheduled for Mar. 7-10. The first two rounds will be played at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
|Follow USM Women's Basketball:||Follow @SouthernMissWBB|