Lady Eagles grab first conference win of the season against Charlotte

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The Southern Miss women’s basketball team (9-9, 1-4 C-USA) defeated Charlotte (10-7, 2-3 C-USA) 65-54 in its return to Reed Green Coliseum on Thursday, breaking a five-game losing streak in the process. The win also marks Southern Miss’ first conference win of the season.

Charlotte took the lead at the nine-minute mark of the first quarter and held the lead until a Southern Miss three-point shot from junior forward Respect Leaphart at the 3: 39-minute mark gave the Lady Eagles a 7-6 lead.

The Lady Eagles maintained their position in the second quarter beginning with a layup from redshirt senior guard Megan Brown and continuing with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Allie Kennedy at the 6: 36-minute mark. The team scored 13 total points in the second half to take a 25-20 lead.

Throughout the third quarter, the 49ers chipped away at the Southern Miss lead but did not regain it. A free throw from redshirt freshman center Kelsey Jones, two made free throws from Brown and a layup from Camille Anderson late in the quarter secured a 42-35 advantage for the Lady Eagles heading into the fourth quarter.

Southern Miss kept their edge in the fourth quarter by scoring 23 points. Hailes made eight of those points on free throws in addition to a layup at 5:43 in the quarter and a three-pointer at the 1:27-minute mark to expand the team’s lead. The Lady Eagles made the last four points of the contest for the 65-54 win.

Hailes led the Lady Eagles with 23 points and four steals for the night. In addition, Hailes converted 10-of-10 free throws, a career-high for the junior and the most for any Southern Miss player so far this season.

Brown scored 12 points for the Lady Eagles and Jones scored nine. Jones led the team in rebounds by grabbing seven throughout the game, aiding in Southern Miss’ 34-25 rebound advantage. Of the 34 rebounds, 11 were offensive rebounds and 23 were defensive rebounds.

As a team, Southern Miss shot 42.2 percent from the field and made 4-of-10 three-point attempts. The Lady Eagles and 49ers had 16 turnovers each in the contest.

The Lady Eagles will host conference opponent Old Dominion on Jan. 19. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.