Women's Basketball Falls to Hampton in Season Opener, 78-41
Nov. 9, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Hampton University (1-0) outscored Southern Miss (0-1) 26-3 over the final 7:48 in the first half while holding the Lady Eagles scoreless for a span of 6:37 in posting a 78-41 win over Southern Miss Friday afternoon.
Southern Miss finished the first half scoring only 12 points on 17.4 percent, but managed to improve to 40 percent in the second half and finished the game shooting 30.2 percent.
"We knew when we scheduled Hampton that they were a very good team," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "They won 26 games last year and they have gone to the NCAA Tournament for three consecutive years and won the MEAC for the past three years as well. We knew this game would be a challenge."
Both teams got off to a slow start, trading baskets for the first 12 minutes. Southern Miss trailed 10-9 at the 12:22 mark in the half when Hampton outscored the Lady Eagles 18-2 in taking a commanding lead, 28-11. The Lady Pirates extended that lead to 36-12 to end the half.
"Their length and their athletism really got us frustrated, made us put the ball on the floor and attack the basket rather than being patient and being strong with the ball and executing an offense," McNelis said. "Their defense was so good that we couldn't get the ball from point to wing entry."
Southern Miss scored the first points to start the second half, but Hampton was able to answer basket-for-basket. After cutting the lead to 42-21, Hampton used a 9-0 run in pushing the margin to 30 points just five minutes into the half.
Southern Miss continued to struggle offensively and was not able to make a dent in the margin.
Hampton placed three players in double figure scoring including a pair with double-doubles. Keiara Avant led all scorers with 26 points to go with 13 rebounds while Verdine Warner also recorded a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 18 rebounds. Nicole Hamilton added 17 points.
Hampton out-rebounded Southern Miss 52-to-40. The Lady Pirates scored 34 points off 27 Golden Eagle turnovers and finished with 26 second chance points.
Southern Miss returns to action when the Lady Eagles travel to Mobile to face South Alabama on Nov. 16 in a 7 p.m. tip.