King Joins 1,000 Point Club in Heartbreaker Against FIU
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss women’s basketball team (15-14, 7-8) fell to FIU (8-21, 5-11) 74-70 in heartbreak fashion Saturday afternoon.
“That’s March madness,” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis. “How else can you explain it? I thought at times tonight we were good offensively, but we just couldn’t guard anybody. It was a tough situation.”
The game’s deciding play came when Shonte Hailes’ game tying layup spun around the rim and spit out of the cylinder with 00:01 left on the clock. FIU grabbed the offensive rebound and sealed the game with a pair of made free throws on the other end.
“It’s still bothering me at this moment,” Hailes said. “I saw the hole and I took it. When it left my hand I thought it was going in. When it rolled off I felt crushed because we had the opportunity to tie it and go to overtime, but it didn’t fall on our end.”
The Quitman, Miss. native tallied 14 points while grabbing five boards and dishing out five assists. This is the third game in a row that Hailes has scored 10 or more points and the second consecutive game where she’s handed out at least five helpers.
Jayla King became the Lady Eagles’ 27th player to join the 1,000 point club with her 21 points tonight. With at least one game remaining, King has the opportunity to move up the all-time scoring list. Her career total, 1,011, puts her six points away from passing Pam McCoy (1978-81) at 26th and 15 points shy of eclipsing Shirley Jones-Hill (1977-81) at 25th.
“It felt good to hit the 1,000 point mark, but it was bitter sweet because we lost,” King said. “We just have to come in with high energy at our practice on Monday. Our coaches told us that right now is how we define ourselves, because right now we’re stagnant and we need to get back to the Lady Eagle basketball we know how to play.”
Final seeding for the tournament is still to be determined, but Southern Miss’ opening game of the Conference USA tournament will take place Wednesday, March 7 at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Tickets can be purchased here. The opening two rounds will be streamed live via Facebook, the semifinals will be displayed on Twitter and Stadium and the championship game will be broadcast on CBS Sports. Fans can also listen to Josh West on the broadcast via The Score 1400 AM or the Southern Miss Game Day App starting 30 minutes before tipoff.