Nov. 23, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- -
Reserve Stephanie Helgeson led three Lady Eagles in double figures with 14 points as Southern Miss had little trouble with North Florida in the opening round of the 20th annual LaQuinta/Lady Eagle Classic with an 80-44 victory here Friday night at Reed Green Coliseum.
The Lady Eagles improved to 5-0 on the season, continuing its best start since the 2002-03 campaign when that squad went 10-0. The Lady Eagles will play at 8 p.m., Saturday, in the championship Austin Peay.
"Everybody got to be a part of it and everyone stepped in," said Southern Miss coach Joye Lee-McNelis. "The young players are slowly coming along."
The Lady Eagle reserves scored a season-best 40 points as all 11 Southern Miss players that saw action scored in the contest. That included Brittany Johnson and Jasmine Sanders, who each scored a pair of points in their first action of the season. The duo made their debuts after sustaining injuries during the preseason.
After exchanging buckets to open the game, Kendra Reed started an 18-1 run over almost the next nine minutes to give Southern Miss a 20-3 advantage and the Lady Eagles never looked back taking a 40-15 lead into intermission.
They extended their lead by as much as 36 points which was the final outcome of the game.
Southern Miss shot over 50 percent from the floor for the fourth time in the last five games. The Lady Eagles converted 34-of-64 shots for 53.1 percent and led the battle of the boards, 42-31.
Shandrea Moore led the Ospreys (1-3) with nine points. UNF will play in the consolation game beginning at 6 p.m., against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Austin Peay got a double-double from freshman Ashley Herring, 21 points and 11 rebounds, in leading the Lady Govs past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 66-57. Alex Bivens added 19 points.
Mercedes Cooper led A&M-Corpus Christi (0-5) with 14 points, followed by Elisa Beagle with 12 points.
Austin Peay scored nine straight points over a three-minute span in late the game, taking the lead for good.
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