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Second Half Start Propels Southern Miss to a 53-44 win Over Central Arkansas

Tanecka Carey led Southern Miss with a game-high 15 points.

Tanecka Carey led Southern Miss with a game-high 15 points.

Dec. 22, 2012

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The women's basketball team used a 12-2 run to start the second half in defeating Central Arkansas, 53-44, Saturday afternoon in Reed Green Coliseum.

Southern Miss improved to 6-5 while Central Arkansas dropped to 6-4.

Tanecka Carey paced three Lady Eagles in scoring with 15 points followed by Jamierra Faulkner with 13 and Tiarra Pollnitz chipped in 11. Jerontay Clemons grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds to go with six points five assists and five steals.

"Central Arkansas is a very well-coached team and they play extremely hard for Coach Sandra Rushing," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "Their post players' physical play in the first half took advantage of us. UCA intensity was so much better than ours.

"We talked about getting out, guarding their perimeter players and making it tougher to get the ball to the post players. We had to turn it up a notch defensively and board the basketball. We did a much better job of guarding the post in the second half, but you have to give credit to Jerontay, Tanecka and Jamierra for putting the pressure on their perimeter players. Our best defense was when we didn't gamble."

UCA bolted out to the early 9-4 lead before Tiarra Pollnitz kick-started a 15-6 run over a span of 7:12. Southern Miss cut the lead to one on a Faulkner layup before UCA got back-to-back baskets to run the score to 13-8. Carey hit connected on a three before Faulkner hit another jumper in the middle of the paint to tie the score at 13-13. The teams traded baskets before Pollnitz hit a three-pointer and Carey added a free to give the Lady Eagles their first lead of the game.

After the Sugar Bears cut the lead ton 19-18, Southern Miss scored six straight in pushing the lead to 25-18 with 5:21 remaining in the half. UCA fought back to regain the lead as Sugar Bears outscored Southern Miss 8-0 for the 27-26 lead. Each team scored a basket in the final two minutes before Carey connected a pair of free throws to give Southern Miss the 29-28 halftime lead.

Southern Miss held a double digit lead for much of the second half, but UCA would not go away quietly. Central Arkansas was able to trim the Lady Eagle lead to seven on two occasions with the last coming inside the three-minute mark.

Neither team shot very well in the from the field as Southern Miss connected on 36.7 percent from the field and UCA shot 33.3 percent.

Megan Herbert and Courtney Duever scored 13 points apiece for UCA while Herbert pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds. Desiree' Rogers also had double figure rebounds with 10.

Southern Miss had 32 points off 30 UCA turnovers and outscored the Sugar Bears 30-22 in the paint. For only the second time this season, Southern Miss outscored its opponents' bench (13-3). UCA dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Lady Eagles 47-to-29.

Southern Miss will take a few days off for the Christmas Holiday before returning to action on New Year's Eve against crosstown foe William Carey as part of a doubleheader with the men's team. Tipoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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