The Southern Miss women’s basketball team faced Northwestern State for their third straight home game on Tuesday night. Southern Miss went 1-1 in its previous two contests during the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 23 and 24.
To start the game, the Lady Eagles started the game with an aggressive offensive plan and an 8-0 run.
Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis talked about how her girls played with urgency.
“I thought we made a major comeback from what we played on Saturday,” Lee-McNelis said. “We went in with an attitude and played with a sense of urgency. I thought that our younger players really stepped up and gave a little punch that we needed.”
Though Southern Miss did not convert its first three-point shot until the final minutes of the second quarter, they did manage to keep the lead for the entire first half. Southern Miss had 10 defensive rebounds in the first half while shooting 44 percent from the field. Redshirt Senior Megan Brown lead the charge in the first half with seven points.
Following a made jump shot from Northwestern State, junior guard Shonte Hailes opened up the third quarter for Southern Miss with a three-point shot to put the team up 33-29. It was her second successful three-point up to that point. It wasn’t until the 7:35 mark in the third quarter that Northwestern State tied the game up at 35-35. After the tie, Southern Miss went on a 6-1 run to retake the lead.
“I thought she [Hailes] did a great job and hit some big-time crunch threes for us,” Lee-McNelis said. “I think the most important thing for us is she led our team vocally. She made sure we were in the proper defense and doing the things that we were supposed to be doing. It was kinda like we were driving with our steering wheel rather than our car. I felt like tonight she was in the driver’s seat.”
Once the fourth quarter started, The Lady Eagles gained separation on the scoreboard and went on a 22-12 run. Led by Hailes’ four three-pointers, Southern Miss came out victorious on the night against Northwestern State with a 69-54 victory.
Hailes led the team with 20 points, including going 4-of-5 from the three-point line. She also had a game-high in minutes with 37.
The Lady Eagles are set to take on Tulane in New Orleans, Louisiana on Dec. 1. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.