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South Alabama Nips Southern Miss at the Buzzer, 76-74

Dec. 4, 2007

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- - South Alabama's Monique Jones scored on a driving layup with .04 seconds remaining in the game, giving the Lady Jags a 76-74 win over Southern Miss Tuesday night.

South Alabama improved to 8-1 on the season, while Southern Miss lost for the third-straight time, fell to 6-3.

"We wanted to contain them (South Alabama)," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We wanted them to dribble and not make the pass with our zone defense with no trapping, just containment. You have to give them a lot of credit. Shakira Nettles put the ball on the floor, they reversed it and Monique Jones got ball and went to the goal, knowing that we were in a two-shot foul."

Pauline Love recorded her seventh double-double with a game-high 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Stephanie Helgeson came off the bench to score 17 points, as well. Kendra Reed chipped in 12 points.

Jeanette Tucker led the Lady Jags with 13 points, followed by Jessica Starling with 11 points and Monique Jones added 10 points.

South Alabama led by as many as 12 points, 63-51, with 7:55 remaining in the game. Southern Miss, then, scored 13 straight points fueled by Love and Helgeson scoring four points apiece.

"I believe we did a nice job of executing down the stretch when we were down by 12 points," McNelis said. "I thought our team played well in that stretch. You have to make free throws in crunch times and you have to make defensive stops and we did not do that."

Over the next 4:48, there were three ties and four lead changes. With 17 seconds remaining, South Alabama Patriece Brunner hit two free throws, giving the Jags a 74-73 lead. On the Lady Eagles next possession, Amber Eugene had a chance to give Southern Miss the lead with five seconds remaining, but missed the first of two free throws and made the second.

South Alabama made three passes, with the third hitting Jones for the score and foul with .04 seconds remaining. Jones missed the free throw, allowing the remaining time to run off.

The first half featured four ties and nine lead changes. Southern Miss led 12-6 early, but South Alabama fought back, using an 8-0 run, taking a 14-12 lead.

Both team traded baskets over the next four minutes, until the Lady Jags outscored the Lady Eagles, 5-0, to take a 24-20 with 4:19 remaining before the half. Eugene then scored back-to-back baskets, tying the game at 24-24. With the game knotted at 29-29, the Lady Eagles closed out the half with an 8-2 run for a 37-31 halftime lead.

Southern Miss controlled the boards, out rebounding South Alabama, 46-34. The Lady Eagles had only 16 turnovers, but the Jags were able to score 18 points off the miscues.

Southern Miss returns to action, when the Lady Eagles travel to Ruston, La., for a 7 p.m., game against Louisiana Tech Saturday.

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