Nov. 14, 2011
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- Southern Miss women's basketball team used a 9-0 run midway in the second half in helping the Lady Eagles defeat William Carey, 62-46, in their season opener Monday night.
Junior guard Tanecka Carey led all scorers with a game-high 25 points while senior forward Rachel Vigers scored 18 points for Southern Miss. Junior center Ance Celmina pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
"I thought Tanecka Carey did a good job at point guard spot tonight," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "She started out playing with that two-guard mentality and kind of took over, but when we got a lead she got all of the other players involved. She handed out about five assists during that stretch and I thought that was the difference in our game."
Chelsea Combest led William Carey with 12 points, all from behind the three-point line, and Erica Moore came off the bench to score 11 points for the visitors.
Southern Miss led 36-33 four minutes into the second when USM outscored Carey 9-2 to push the lead to 45-35. The two teams traded baskets before Southern Miss scored nine straight in taking a 17-point lead, 56-39.
Southern Miss finished the night shooting 45.5 percent from the field and pulled down 55 rebounds as all nine available players collected at least two rebounds in the contest. Carey finished with 31 rebounds.
"Offensively, our transition game was not in flow without Jamierra Faulkner leading us," McNelis said. "You also have to give William Carey credit of getting back and stopping the transition game. We had several new players step up and give us some minutes. Hannah Fletcher gave us some solid minutes and I thought Wendy Miller came in and gave us some energy on the press. Those two freshmen made some strides tonight."
Southern Miss scored the first six points to start the game on three baskets from three different players. The Lady Eagles extended their lead to 12-2 in the first 4:14. The two teams traded three pointers for the next two possessions. With Southern Miss leading, 15-5, Carey then outscored Southern Miss 13-2 in taking an 18-17 lead at the 6:19 mark.
Carey then put down back-to-back treys and Sedreka Plummer added a jumper to push the lead to 25-18. Erica Moore added two free throws for the Crusaders and Combest added her third three to cut the lead to 25-23. Niesha Pierce then scored the final four points of the half to give USM a 29-25 lead heading into intermission.
Southern Miss returns to action on Wednesday when the Lady Eagles host UT-Martin at 7 p.m. in Reed Green Coliseum.