Lady Eagles defeat Middle Tennessee, 61-53

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Shonte Hailes (5) becomes C-USA’S player of the week after a career preformance. Photo: courtesy

Led by a 20-point offensive performance by sophomore Shonte Hailes and solid rebounding, the Southern Miss women’s basketball team (11-7, 3-2 C-USA) defeated the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (11-8, 3-3 C-USA) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, extending their win streak to three games.

In the first two quarters, the Lady Eagles maintained slim leads over the Blue Raiders, taking a 34-28 lead into halftime. The team shot 52.2 percent from the field in the first half, led by Hailes with nine points and senior forward Megan Brown with seven points.

Though the Lady Eagles scored only 12 points in the third quarter and 15 points in the fourth quarter, they were able to maintain a lead during the entire second half, thanks to 11 second-half points by Hailes and five turnovers from Middle Tennessee.

Hailes, who earned a double- double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, was the team’s leading scorer, followed by Brown with 10 points. Southern Miss also benefited from 19 bench points in the victory. Junior transfer Kyle Felton led all bench scorers with nine points.

“Today, as a whole, we played with a tremendous amount of heart and soul,” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis. “It made a difference when we were able to score when we needed to score, to get to the rim when we needed to and get some fouls.”

The Lady Eagles will look to extend their winning streak to four games when they take on the Charlotte 49ers at home on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m.