Following an 86-42 home loss to Mississippi State on Dec. 14, the Southern Miss Lady Eagles got back on track with an 84-38 home win against Blue Mountain College on Tuesday night. Redshirt freshman center Kelsey Jones added 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Eagles in the winning effort.
“I think tonight definitely helped us in a lot of ways,” Southern Miss head coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. “After such a loss to Mississippi State and being able to rebound back mentally and physically the way we did I thought was a plus.”
Southern Miss faced an early 6-0 deficit in the first quarter. The Lady Eagles turned the ball over four times on the first four offensive possessions, and the Lady Toppers responded with two three-pointers in the first two minutes of the quarter for the lead. However, Southern Miss went on a 22-7 run for the remainder of the quarter to take a 22-13 lead.
The Lady Eagles added another 22 points while allowing just nine to Blue Mountain College in the second quarter for a 44-22 halftime lead.
Jones added 14 first-half points and three rebounds for the Lady Eagles. Redshirt junior Camille Anderson and Redshirt senior Megan Brown added seven points apiece in the first half.
In the third quarter, Southern Miss allowed just six points to the Lady Toppers while also going on a 20-0 run in the quarter to widen its lead. The Lady Eagles also added 12 more points in the fourth quarter to secure their seventh win of the season.
In addition to Jones’ double-double on the night, two other Lady Eagles notched double-digits in scoring. Junior Alarie Mayze added 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while sophomore Allie Kennedy scored 10 points.
Jones talked about looking forward to the rest of the schedule following her performance against the Lady Toppers.
“I think it’s just the beginning,” Jones said. “I have a lot of work to do, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do next.”
In total, Southern Miss generated 25 Blue Mountain College turnovers and scored 35 points off of the takeaways. The bench was also accountable for 42 of the team’s 84 points in the contest.
The Lady Eagles return to the court on Thursday for a road matchup against Southeastern Louisiana University. Currently, the Lady Eagles have a 0-2 mark on the road with losses to South Alabama and Tulane.
Coach Lee-McNelis talked about the importance of getting a win on the road.
“It’s very important that we get our job done [on the road],” Lee-McNelis said. “You’ve got to go down there [Southeastern] with some pressure and feeling that it’s got to get done. I think with as young as we are, we’ve got to get off to a good start.”
Tip-off in Hammond, Louisiana is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday.