The Southern Miss Lady Eagles rallied from a large deficit once again to win 106-96 on the road against FIU in Miami. The win improved the Lady Eagles to 20-5, 9-3 in Conference USA after winning their seventh straight game.
Jamierra Faulkner had a big night with 30 points on 12-of-21 shooting from the field.
Jerontay Clemons and Brittanny Dinkins also had big nights, scoring 26 and 24 points, respectively. Dinkins had a great night shooting from distance, making four of her seven
The Lady Eagles used a huge second half to guide them to victory after trailing 50-41 at half. They put up 65 points in the second half alone compared to just 41 in the first half. The deficit was up to 13 points before the Lady Eagles stormed back.
“The biggest thing we need to look at is the second half. We had 65 points and our momentum really changed,” said head coach Joye Lee-McNelis.
“We didn’t start out with a lot of energy. We faced a few travel woes and didn’t have our normal game-day flow.”
Despite the big scoring contributions from the Lady Eagle trio, none of them had as impressive of a game as FIU guard Jerica Coley. Coley went for 47 points on 14-of-27 shooting from the field and converted on 16 of her 20 attempts from the charity stripe.
“We did everything in that first half, but Jerica Coley just destroyed us,” McNelis said. “She is a special player. We tried everybody to try and guard her.”
Both teams shot with deadly accuracy for the duration of the game with the Lady Eagles holding a slight edge. The Lady Eagles shot 54.4 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc while FIU shot 50.8 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from deep.
The Lady Eagles also had a rebounding edge of 39-32 for the game. Dinkins, Markia Nix and Kierra Jordan each had six rebounds for the Lady Eagles.
There was not any particular facet of the game that either team dominated however. The two teams were evenly matched and scored nearly at will for the majority of the game. Late in the second half was when USM was finally able to distance themselves from FIU to get the win.
It will be interesting to see how the last four games play out for the Lady Eagles. There are five teams at the top of the C-USA standings that are all within a game of each other
Whoever lands the top four spots will be in prime position to receive an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament considering they would have a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
The Lady Eagles will attempt to extend their winning streak to eight games when they travel to Boca Raton, Fla. to take on Florida Atlantic (13-12, 3-9). Tip-off is
slated for 1 p.m.