McNelis Notches 450th Career Win in 71-59 Victory
Natchitoches, La. – Southern Miss Lady Eagles Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis reached her 450 career win with a 71-59 victory over Northwestern State in Prather Coliseum Tuesday night. McNelis is the 41 active Division I Women’s Basketball Coach and the 77 active Division I Basketball Coach to hit the milestone.
“It all happened because we had the right combinations in during the length of the game,” McNelis said. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but we survived. We’ve got to lace up our shoes and be ready because it is not easy from here on out.”
The Lady Eagles did not score a field goal until the 5:49 mark of the first quarter, but turned the scoring on and quickly jumped ahead by as many as 10. The Lady Eagles tallied 16 points in the paint in the first half, notched nine second chance points and squared away six fast break points.
The team would finish the game with 38 points in the paint, 17 second chance points and 18 total fast break points.
Jayla King and Megan Brown had both reached double-figures with 10 points apiece by the half. King gathered a total of 25 points, eclipsing 20 or more points for the fourth time in her career, and had a game-high six rebounds when it was all said and done. The Pensacola, Fla. native was the Lady Eagles’ leading rebounder for the 28 time of her career.
Shonte Hailes ended the game with nine total points and dished a game-high five assists. She has been the main distributor of helpers in every contest this season except for one.
“I’m really proud of how Jayla, Megan and Shonte played,” McNelis said. “They have become our big three for us, it’s very obvious that that’s who they are.”
The Lady Eagles came back to the court after halftime with a pep in their step and went the length of the third period of play on a 30-8 run. The 30 total point amassed in the quarter are the most points the team has scored in any quarter this season.
Other notables include Allie Kennedy and Hanah Lott receiving their first career starting nods and the Lady Eagles moving to 7-5 all-time against the Lady Demons. This is the first time Southern Miss has posted consecutive wins at Prather Coliseum in the series’ history.
The Lady Eagles will be back in action on Thursday for a 6 p.m. matchup against the University of South Alabama. Southern Miss will recognize all those affected by lung cancer prior to tip off.
Tickets for the next game can be purchased online at SouthernMissTickets.com, or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-844-TICK (8425) as well as visiting the Pat Ferlise Ticket Center. With the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior tip, fans can hear Josh West on the call on WFOR 1400 AM The Score, the Southern Miss Game Day App and CUSA.TV.