Double-Doubles Propel Southern Miss Past Mississippi Valley
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- A 46 point second half, fueled by double-doubles from Jayla King and Alarie Mayze, propelled the Southern Miss women's basketball to an 84-69 victory over Mississippi Valley State Thursday night.
"It was a tale of two halves for sure, unbelievable," said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "I'm glad we showed up and played in the second half. I'm really proud of how the team responded to the challenge in the second half. Our team really showed up and did the things we wanted them to do in the first half by running the floor and getting the ball to the short corner in transition."
At the half, the Lady Eagles held a one point advantage, 38-37, and Southern Miss was only shooting .323 from the floor, compared to the Devilettes' .438.
"Coach McNelis challenged us when we got into the locker room because she was upset," King said. "We had to rise up to the challenge in the second half, so when we got back on the floor we knew that we had to win. The details of stopping the ball, getting the outlet deep and running the floor were key in us pulling ahead."
King tallied 11 points and six rebounds in the last two frames to tally a 19 point, 17 rebound double-double. This is the Pensacola, Fla. native's eighth career double-double and the first time she has posted back-to-back marks.
Mayze's double-double, the first of her career, came by the way of 14 total points and 10 rebounds. The transfer also dished out five helpers.
"The first half started out rough and my defense was off," Mayze said. "Coach got on us at halftime and I just had to come out, do my job and step up to the challenge. I feel like this is what I need to do every game for us to be successful."
This is the first time since the 2014-2015 season that Southern Miss has had two players' simultaneously record double-doubles.
"We really competed in the second half," McNelis said. "We got boards that created opportunities for us to get to the rim. Jayla and Alarie both getting double-doubles was huge."
The Lady Eagles had 47 total points in the paint when it was all said and done, 30 of them coming in the second half, and made a total 29-out-of-60 field goals.
Shonte Hailes dumped in 15 points in the second half, finishing with 18 total points, for her eighth career double-figure scoring output. The sophomore has racked up three straight games with double-digit scoring totals. She also had a team-high six assists.
Southern Miss heads north to Starkville to take on No. 7 ranked Mississippi State. The game, starting at 2 p.m., will be broadcast on SEC Network+ through WatchESPN.com. With the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior tip, the game can also be heard on WFOR 1400 AM The Score.