Fourth quarter surge leads Southern Miss past Southeastern

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The Southern Miss Lady Eagles basketball team (8-4) secured its first road win of the season on Thursday against the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions in what could appropriately be deemed a tale of two halves in Hammond.

Southern Miss registered both its second worst and second-best offensive halves of the year in the contest, with a fourth-quarter rally lifting the Lady Eagles to a 59-52 victory.

The Lady Eagles claimed the halftime lead by a peculiar score of 16-14 over the Lady Lions, the lowest combined halftime total in a Southern Miss basketball game this season. The Lady Eagles’ 16-point offensive output in the first half was the second lowest of the year, just one point higher than the 15 points scored against Mississippi State last Friday. Southern Miss converted just 5-of-21 shots in the first half, while Southeastern converted only 5-of-29 shots from the field.

Both teams more than doubled their first-half scoring totals in the third period alone. Southeastern’s season-high 29 points in the period earned them a double-digit advantage entering the fourth and final quarter. Once again, however, a drastic change of course occurred. Led by redshirt senior Megan Brown and redshirt junior Camille Anderson, the Lady Eagles finished the game on a 16-4 run and scored 27 fourth-quarter points in total.

Efficient free throw shooting also helped the team pull away for a 59-52 final score. The Lady Eagles converted 14-of-19 free throw attempts in the third and fourth quarters.

The 43 points Southern Miss scored in the second half stands as the team’s second-best offensive half of the season. Brown played 37 minutes in the contest and racked up 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Anderson added 14 points and seven rebounds in the winning effort. The duo combined for five three-pointers and made seven of eight free throw attempts in the last period to seal the deal.

Redshirt freshman center Kelsey Jones also added a team-high 17 points following a 21-point performance against Blue Mountain College on Tuesday.

Just one game remains for the Lady Eagles in 2018. The team is set to face off against the Houston Lady Cougars at Reed Green Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 30. Coach Joye Lee-McNelis and her squad will then begin the new year with their first taste of conference play at home versus Rice on Thursday, Jan. 3.