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Women's Basketball Hosts Hampton in Season Opener

Jamierra Faulkner poured in a game-high 21 points in the exhibition game.

Nov. 8, 2012

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USM Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Hampton University Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Edcuation Day Announcement

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Lady Eagles officially open the 2012-13 season, hosting reigning MEAC Champion Hampton, at 11 a.m. tip. The game has been designated as "Education Day".

Admission to the contest will be $1 per student. The Hattiesburg School District as well as Forrest and Lamar County School districts are using this as an incentive to their students to increase their grades and possess a positive attitude toward others.

If other school districts are interested in participating, please contact Melinda Clanton in the women's basketball office at 601-266-6444.

Southern Miss Preview
Southern Miss is coming off a 77-54 win over Mobile in an exhibition game. Four Eagles scored in double figures led by junior Jamierra Faulkner with a game-high 21 points. She also handed out six assists and had five steals. Senior Tanecka Carey tallied 14 points while freshmen Tiarra Pollnitz and Teri Berry added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Pollnitz and Berry also led the team with seven rebounds each.

Ninth-year coach Joye Lee-McNelis returns only six letterwinners including all five starters from a year ago that finished 13-18 while advancing to the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament. Faulkner, who was a preseason All-C-USA selection, led the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game and dished out a league-leading 7.2 assists per contest. Tanecka Carey, a second team honoree, was second on the team with a 15.1 point per game average. Carey also led the team in rebounding at 5.9 boards per game. Also returning is redshirt sophomore Nitesha Pierce who earned all-freshman accolades. Pierce was second on the team in rebounding at 5.8 per game.

Rounding out the returnees are junior Niesha Pierce (7.2 ppg), senior Ance Celmina (5.1 ppg) and sophomore Wendy Miller (1.5 ppg).

The Lady Eagles welcome seven newcomers to the squad. The list includes Samirah Ali (Hazel Crest, Ill.), Anteria Berry (Hattiesburg, Miss.), Caron Brown (Atlanta, Ga.), Falonna Brown (Smyrna, Ga.), Jerontay Clemons (Coldwater, Miss.), Tiarra Pollnitz (Birmingham, Ala.) and Michelle Summersell (Mobile, Ala.).

Scouting the Lady Pirates
This is the season-opener for Hampton. The reigning MEAC champion returns seven letterwinners including two starters that finished 26-5 last season. The Lady Pirates played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Stanford. Alyssa Bennett is the top returning scorer as she averaged 8.2 points per game while Keiara Avant returns as the top rebounder with a 7.9 per game average. Last season, Hampton averaged 65.2 points and 41.9 rebounds per game while shooting 37.0 percent from the field and 73.1 percent from the line. The Lady Pirates allowed their opponents 47.6 points per game and 36.0 rebounds while holding the offense to 33.1 percent shooting from the field. Hampton also averaged 10.4 steals per game.

Southern Miss vs. Hampton
Southern Miss and Hampton have played twice in a series that began in 2001. The series is tied at 1-1 with each team winning on its home court.

Next Up
Following the Hampton game, Southern Miss will travel to Mobile, Ala., to face South Alabama in a 7 p.m., tip on Nov. 16.

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