Nov. 7, 2011
| Box Score in PDF Format
- Southern Miss outscored West Alabama 13-5 over the final five minutes to defeat the Tigers, 67-53 in the Lady Eagles only exhibition game.
Junior college transfer Tanecka Carey led Southern Miss with 18 points followed by sophomore Jamierra Faulkner with 14. Senior Rachel Vigers collected a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds and sophomore Niesha Pierce chipped in 10 points off the bench.
"When you have only five years of Division I experience on this team, it puts a lot of things in prospective," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "It's hard, but as a staff, we see that potential every day. Patience is something that I have not always been blessed with and there are times that I think we should be a whole lot better.
"You saw flashes of Tanecka Carey come alive under the eight minute mark," McNelis said. "We were able to do a lot of things tonight, but we've also got a lot to work on. The positive thing is that we do have some different combinations. I think our transition game looked good at times. However, we have to work more on half-court offense. We have a long way to go."
West Alabama's Brittany Weathers led all scorers with a game-high 20 points and Nikka Jordan added 10 points.
"I'm going to applaud the hometown girl Brittany Weathers," said McNelis. "She did a heck of a job tonight. We couldn't guard her. She played a great basketball game."
Both teams got off to a slow start as neither team was able to score for the first 4:32 of the game. Southern Miss got on the score board first on a Sedreka Plummer basket. West Alabama tied the game on its next possession. The teams traded baskets for the next four possessions before the visitors scored four straight points in taking a 10-7 lead. USM then outscored the Tigers 9-2 for a 16-12 lead.
USM led by as many as 11 points with just over four minutes remaining before the half before UWA used an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 29-24. The Lady Eagles led 31-26 at the half.
The Lady Eagles scored two quick baskets to start the second half in pushing the lead to nine. Southern Miss held a lead for the next four minutes before the Weathers and Jordan combined to outscore Southern Miss, 12-3, in tying the game at 44-44. Faulkner then hit Ance Celmina underneath for a layup and then converted a three-point play the old fashioned way to put the Lady Eagles back on top 49-44. After trading baskets for two possessions, Southern Miss closed out the game on a 15-5 run with Carey scoring 11 of the final 13.
Southern Miss officially tips of the regular season at home on Nov. 14 against cross-town opponent William Carey in a 7 p.m. tipoff.