Southern Miss’ Tenacious Defense Handles Alabama State
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss Lady Eagles basketball team toppled Alabama State 72-35 in a defensive showcase to put a cap on the 2017 Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic.
“I think we made some strides tonight,” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis. “We challenged the team this morning in our shoot around and they did a very good job of answering that challenge.”
The Lady Eagles, coming off a less-than-stellar defensive performance in a win against Alcorn State, were challenged to defend the ball better and get more rebounds and loose. Southern Miss answered the coaching staff’s call by holding Alabama State to 21.4 percent from the field for the game and outrebounding their opponent.
The Lady Eagles’ stifling defense held the Lady Jackets to 6.7 percent shooting in the fourth quarter. This is the third time this season that Southern Miss has held an opponent to single digits in a single quarter. The team also tied their season high defensive rebound mark by corralling 33 total defensive boards.
Megan Brown led the team on the offensive side of the floor and tallied a game-high 15 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the floor. The Slidell, La. native’s scoring total was the most since her 14 point effort she had at UTSA last season and two points shy of tying her career high.
“I knew I didn’t give my best leaving the game yesterday,” Brown said. “That’s a terrible feeling, to be honest. I made up in my mind, before coach challenged us, that I didn’t want to leave the game feeling like that, win or lose. I don’t ever want to leave a game knowing I didn’t give my best.”
Brown bullied would-be defenders with jumpers and strong drives to the basket, her defenders not able to match her isolation speed. She also connected one her lone three-point attempt, her second made three ball of the season.
Jayla King, the teams other de facto leader, said that there was less pressure on herself to produce so she was able to step back and provide for her team other ways.
“There wasn’t pressure on me having to score every possession,” King said. “It felt good to get everyone scoring and involved today instead of me scoring.”
There were 10 total Lady Eagles all tallying buckets tonight, the most in a single-game this season, and Petal, Miss. product Hanah Lott got her first points as a Lady Eagle
Southern Miss now heads to Natchitoches, La. for a 6:30 pm. tilt with Northwestern State. With the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior tip, fans can hear Josh West on the call on WFOR 1400 AM The Score and the Southern Miss Game Day App.