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Southern Miss Loses For The First Time, Falls to Mississippi State, 77-56

Nov. 29, 2007

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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- - Plagued by cold shooting and untimely turnovers, the Lady Eagle basketball team lost for the first time, falling to in-state rival Mississippi State, 77-56.

"I applaud the Lady Bulldog team for the way they played tonight," coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "They pressured us and played with a tremendous amount of intensity and energy. They set the tone game from the start. They are a very good basketball team; they are balanced."

Pauline Love paced the Lady Eagles (6-1) with 20 points and 11 rebounds, recording her fifth double-double of the season. Amber Eugene and Erica Williams chipped in nine points apiece.

"Our game plan was to try and take their point guard out of the game, but she (Marneshia Richard) did a tremendous job of running that team. We never could get her under control and because of that, it caused us to lose focus, lose track of everything and we just came unraveled. We had a lot of unforced turnovers and not blocking out on the rebounds and allowing State to get second chance baskets."

State (6-2) placed three players in double figures led by Tysheka Grimes with 20 points, followed by Imesia Jackson with 18 and Robin Porter added 12.

Both teams shot a miserable 22 percent in the first half; however, Southern Miss finished the game shooting 35.3 percent after shooting 50 percent in the second half.

"I believe the keys to the game tonight were our turnovers and their offensive rebounds," said McNelis.

The Lady Bulldogs scored 31 points off 30 Southern Miss turnovers, while hauling in 20 offensive rebounds.

Southern Miss returns to action on Saturday, when the Lady Eagles play Jacksonville State at 2 p.m.

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