CONWAY, Ark. - The Southern Miss women's basketball team picked up its first road victory and finished the game shooting 60 percent from the field, including a blistering 83.3 in the first half in downing Central Arkansas 71-60. Southern Miss improved to 7-2 while UCA dropped to 5-3.
"I thought Markia Nix, Voche' Martin and Ashley Folsom was huge for us tonight," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "We were awful the first 10 minutes. We struggled, we didn't have any energy and they got in a rhythm and made some shots. But I am so proud of the group because for 30 minutes we got after it. We did a tremendous job defensively, which in turn, got Jamierra Faulkner going and our offense going in the other direction that resulted in some easy baskets.
"I'm just proud to get out of here with a win," McNelis said. "I'm not taking anything away from our team, but Central Arkansas is a good team. They will challenge for a conference championship in the Southland Conference."
Markia Nix led a trio of Lady Eagles with 16 points followed by Jamierra Faulkner with 12 and Tamara Jones added 10. Faulkner also handed out six assists. With Faulkner's 12 points moved her past Pauline Love on the all-time scoring list into sixth-place.
After a slow start, Southern Miss picked up speed down the stretch as the Lady Eagles outscored UCA, 20-6, over the final 6:32 in the half in taking a 37-31 lead into the half. Markia Nix kept the Lady Eagles close early, coming up with the bulk of the offense in the first eight minutes.
Southern Miss trailed 28-17 with 6:32 remaining when Nix sparked the final run by connecting on a pair of free throws. From there, the Lady Eagles got back-to-back layups from Martin and Faulkner. Ashley Folsom got a block on the defensive before Faulkner found her underneath for a layup. Faulkner found a Nix again for another layup to cut the lead to 28-27. Folsom tied the game after making one-of-two from the line. UCA answered with a three before Southern Miss closed out the final 2:36 with a 9-0 run.
Southern Miss was 15-of-18 from the field, shooting an incredible 83.3 percent.
Nine different players scored points in the second half as the Lady Eagles built as much as a 15-point advantage. The teams started the second half playing evenly before Southern Miss used a 10-3 run over a five-minute span.
The Lady Eagles scored 46 points in the paint including 12 fast break points.
Southern Miss returns home to host Grambling State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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