HAMPTON, Va. - The Southern Miss women's basketball lost for the first time, falling to Hampton by the score of 74-58.
"There is no doubt that our youth showed today," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We struggled to get over humps when we were down. We made comebacks but we just couldn't get over the hump. This is no doubt a learning experience for this young team. We faced a team today that had not been beaten at home since Jan. 28, 2012."
Southern Miss (2-1) did not have a player score in double figures as four players scored nine points, Jamierra Faulkner, Tamara Jones, Brittanny Dinkins and Kierra Jordan. Faulkner also had nine assists and three steals. Jordan grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
"The bright spot in our game today was our freshman Kierra Jordan who was most efficient in production," McNelis said. "We will get back to work on Sunday and prepare for a big week against UALR and Florida Gulf Coast. They are ranked 13 and 8, respectively, among the mid-majors. The opportunity to play at home will definitely benefit us."
Southern Miss cut the halftime lead to 39-37 on a Dinkins three-pointer before Hampton used 12-0 run in pushing the lead to double digits, 51-37. After a media timeout, Faulkner ignited a 13-2 run with a three-pointer and followed with a layup basket after a steal. Jordan added a free throw before Alex Coyne scored a layup from Faulkner. Markia Nix added a free throw before Faulkner ended the run with a basket.
Hampton's Alyssa Bennett got free from a layup, but Jordan added a pair of free throws to keep the Lady Eagles within three, 55-52, with just under eight minutes remaining. From there, the Lady Pirates outscored Southern Miss 12-1 over a five-minute span to give Hampton a 67-53 lead. Southern Miss went cold from the field in the final two minutes and could get no closer.
The teams played evenly thought the first seven minutes to start the game. With the score tied at 4-14, Hampton scored eight unanswered points in taking a 22-14 lead. The teams traded basket for several possessions before Hampton added a free throw and basket in extending its lead to 33-22. However, Southern Miss managed to outscore Hampton 12-6 in the final 4:28 and trailed 39-34 at the half.
Hampton won the battle of boards, 47-37, and scored 24 points off 19 Golden Eagle turnovers.
Alyssa Bennett led all scorers with a game-high 25 points for Hampton while Nicole Hamilton had 16 and Ryan Jordan chipped in 11 points off the bench. Brielle Ward pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Southern Miss returns to action on Nov. 19 when the Lady Eagles host UALR at 7 p.m. This game has been designated as "Can Food" night. If fans bring two canned goods to donate, they will be given free admission.
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