Dec. 8, 2007
RUSTON, La. -- -
Kendra Reed connected on two free throws with 9.3 seconds remaining in the game to put the finishing touches on a 67-62 win over Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., Saturday. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Lady Eagles, who improved to 7-3, while Tech dropped to 4-3.
"We went into the locker and told our players that we have to be able to execute what we are doing," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We told them we had to keep our focus, apply our defensive game scheme and keep them off the offensive boards. We also told them Tech was not going to shoot 20 percent in the second half."
Pauline Love recorded her eighth double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 18 points and hauling in a game-high 18 rebounds. Stephanie Helgeson came off the bench to score 14 points and Amber Eugene chipped in 10 points. Kendra Reed became the 18th Lady Eagle to reach 1,000 points in a career when she scored nine points, needing only seven heading into the game.
"I think this was a great experience for the young players to be put in that type of situation and us be able to pull off a win is huge," said McNelis.
Shanavia Dowdell paced four Lady Techsters with 15 points followed April Willliams with 14, JoKeirra Sneed and Adrienne Johnson scored 10 apiece.
Southern Miss led by as many as 10 in the second half. With the Lady Eagles leading 61-53, Tech held Southern Miss scoreless over 4:37 until Helgeson made two free throws at the 1:05 mark in the game. Southern Miss ended the game connecting on 6-of-6 free throws in the last minute.
"Coach got on me in the locker room about me not blocking out and rebounding, but I knew in the second half, I had to do a better job," Love said. "It feels good to be able to beat a team like Louisiana Tech. We had to come together and calm down late in the game to get this win."
Tech opened the game scoring the first four points, all from the free throw line. The Lady Eagles finally got on the scoreboard on a free throw by Liz Biland, who then, hit a three-pointer, knotting the game at 4-4.
Southern Miss took its first lead at the 17:02 mark, when Love hit a jumper in the lane. Both teams traded baskets, before Southern Miss used a 9-0 run to take, what turned out to be the lead for good.
Southern Miss out shot Tech in the first half, 45.2 percent to 20.5 percent. The Lady Eagles led 32-22 at the half.
"This is a wonderful feeling to be able to come into their house and come away with a win," Biland said. "Our last two games have been heart breakers. It's been so disappointing. It was beneficial for us when we were able to work through the turnovers and defensive breakdowns."
Southern Miss will take some time off for final exams and return to action Saturday, Dec. 15.