EL PASO, Texas - Freshman Brittanny Dinkins tallied 19 points to pace a quartet of players in double figures and second-seeded Southern Miss pushed its winning streak to 12 by toppling seventh-seed Old Dominion, 83-64, in the 2014 Conference USA Women's Basketball Championships at Memorial Gym Thursday evening.
The Lady Eagles (25-5) advance to face third-seed and host UTEP (24-6) in the C-USA semifinals at 11:30 a.m. MDT in a game that will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.
Southern Miss, which led 46-40 at the break, opened up the second half on a 12-2 surge to extend the margin out to 16 (58-42) with 16:47 to play in the contest. ODU continued to battle from that point on, trimming the deficit down to eight on a couple occasions before a late push by the Lady Eagles gave them some breathing room when the final buzzer sounded.
Kierra Jordan (16 points), Jamierra Faulkner (15 points) and Tamara Jones (12 points) joined Dinkins in double figures for scoring. Faulkner quarterbacked the high-octane Southern Miss offense to perfection with 12 assists.
Overall the Lady Eagles recorded 23 helpers on 33 field goals made while drilling 55.9 percent (33-of-59) from the floor. USM committed only 14 turnovers and nailed 6-of-10 tries from three-point land.
ODU went back-and-forth with the Lady Eagles over an entertaining first 20 minutes, drilling 46.7 (14-of-30) in the stanza. USM tightened up its grip in the second half, and the Lady Monarchs were unable to keep pace.
Shae Kelley keyed the efforts with 13 points and four rebounds while LaQuanda Younger pitched in 12 points and a pair of rebounds. Odegua Oigbokie nearly hit double figures, tallying nine points and five rebounds.
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