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Southern Miss Wins Its 16th Lady Eagle Classic, Defeats Austin Peay, 76-65

Nov. 24, 2007

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- - Southern Miss withstood an Austin Peay rally midway through the second half to defeat the Lady Governors, 76-65, in the finals of the LaQuinta Inn Lady Eagle Classic.

"We went into the game with the plan to take away the three because they had such good three-point shooters," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "You have to applaud their post play for the way they stepped and help Austin Peay come back from a 20-point deficit."

Pauline Love led the way for Southern Miss (6-0) with 20 points and nine rebounds on her way to earning most valuable player honors. Kendra Reed added 17 points, while Amber Eugene and Liz Biland chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively. Eugene added a career-high nine assists.

"Kendra looked like the Kendra of old, not saying that the new Kendra is bad, but she doesn't have to be called upon to score as much with all the options we have," McNelis said. "Andrea did an excellent job of setting her up to hit the big threes."

Ashlee McGee led Austin Peay (1-3) with 15 points, followed by Kellea Reeves with 14 and Ashley Herring added 11 points.

Southern Miss led by 18 points, 45-27, just two minutes into the second when the Lady Govs scored 14 unanswered points, fueled by five different players contributing to the run, cutting the lead to four points, 45-41. Over the next four minutes, both teams traded baskets before Southern Miss scored four straight points, pushing its lead to eight, 57-49.

Austin Peay managed to cut the lead to six points on three occasions, with the last coming with 3:55 remaining in the game (69-63) and that was as close as the Lady Govs would get.

"We did a great job of getting easy shots, but we didn't take care of the basketball," McNelis said.

Joining Love on the all-tournament team included Jennifer Guldager of North Florida, Elisa Beagle of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Alex Bevins and Ashley Herring of Austin Peay and Andrea Barber of Southern Miss.

Southern Miss finished the game shooting 40.7 percent from the field, while Austin Peay shot 45.1 percent. This was the first time this season an opponent outshot Southern Miss from the field.

In the consolation game, North Florida defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 51-43. Guldager and Antoinette led the Lady Ospreys with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Elisa Beagle led the Islanders with a game-high 14 points.

The Lady Eagles return to action, Nov. 29, when they hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Mississippi State. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Southern Miss will continue with a game at Jacksonville State on Dec. 1.

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