HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss women's basketball team plays will host the 25th Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic that include teams Mississippi Valley State, Eastern Kentucky and Florida A&M. Action gets underway on Friday with Southern Miss and Mississippi Valley at 5 p.m., followed by Eastern Kentucky and Florida A&M at 7:30 p.m.
The Lady Eagle contest can be heard on WHXB-FM 96.5 or at www.SouthernMiss.com with Josh West, voice of the Lady Eagles, providing the play-by-play action and legendary coach Kay James as color analyst.
Southern Miss Preview
The Lady Eagles are coming off a 76-74 come-from-behind win against Florida Gulf Coast. Senior Jamierra Faulkner recorded her third double-double with 17 points and 12 assists. Four other Lady Eagles tallied double digits with Brittanny Dinkins with 12 points followed by Tamara Jones, Jerontay Clemons and Kierra Jordan with 11 points apiece.
Jones currently leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 21.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Faulkner is next at 14.8 points followed by Dinkins at 11.8 and Ashley Folsom 11.0 points. Faulkner is dishing out 11.8 assists per game to go with 3.8 steals.
The Lady Eagles are averaging 80.0 points and 40.2 rebounds per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 68.7 percent from the line. Southern Miss is giving up 64.0 points on 39.8 percent shooting.
Scouting Mississippi Valley State
Mississippi Valley State (0-5) comes into the Classic following a 91-52 loss to SMU on Nov. 19. Jasmyne Sanders and Olivia Kennedy led the way with 14 points each while DeRita Silas chipped in 11.
Head Coach Elvis Robinson is in his second season and returns six letterwinners from last season's team that finished 17-15.
Kennedy leads the team in scoring with an 11.4 per game average followed by Ashley Beals with 10.8 point per game. Joncyee Sanders leads the team in rebounding at 5.6 boards per game. As a team, MVSU is averaging 56.6 points and 34.4 rebounds per game while shooting 37.4 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from the line.
Series Record: Southern Miss vs. Mississippi Valley
This is the 14th meeting between the two teams. Southern Miss leads the overall series 11-2 dating back to the 1977-78 season. The last time the two teams played Dec. 6, 2002, in the Lady Eagle Classic. Southern Miss defeated MVSU, 58-35.
Scouting Eastern Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky (3-3) comes into the tournament following a 60-52 loss to Ohio. Shelly Harper led the team is scoring with 13 points while Jasmine Stafford added 10 points. Miranda Maples pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Lady Colonels return eight letterwinners including one starter from last year's team that finished 18-12.
Marie Carpenter leads the team in scoring with 22.8 points per game followed by Harper with a 10.5 point per game average. Harper also leads the team in rebounding at 7.3 boards while Maples adds 7.0 rebounds per game. As a team, EKU is averaging 71.8 points and 40.5 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 71.2 percent from the line.
Coach Chrissy Roberts is in her sixth season at Eastern Kentucky.
Series Record: Southern Miss vs. Eastern Kentucky
This is a possible third meeting between the team teams. The Lady Eagles lead the overall series 2-0 dating back to the 1985-86 season. The last time the two teams played was Nov. 25, 2006, in the championship game of the Lady Eagle Classic. Southern Miss defeated EKU, 81-76
Scouting Florida A&M
Florida A&M (4-1) comes into the Classic following a 65-57 win over Webber International. Jasmine Grice recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Kimberly Sparkman had 15 points.
FAMU returns nine letterwinners including four starters from last season that finished 17-15.
Grice leads the team in scoring with a 22.8 per game average followed by Taneka Rubin at 14.4 and Sparkman with a 10.4 point per game average. Jamie Foreman leads the team in rebounding at 10.2 boards per game. As a team, FAMU is averaging 72.4 points and 47.0 rebounds per game while shooting 37.9 percent from the field and 66.9 percent from the line.
Coach LeDawn Gibson is in her sixth season at Florida A&M.
Series Record: Southern Miss vs. Florida A&M
This is a possible sixth meeting between the two teams. Southern Miss leads the overall series 4-1 dating back to the 1995-96 season. The last the two teams faced each was last season in Tallahassee as the Lady Eagles defeated FAMU, 88-71.
Following the Classic, Southern Miss will travel to Central Arkansas on Dec. 7 with a 4p.m., tip.
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