South Alabama’s three-point shooting was too much for Southern Miss in midweek 78-57 loss.
“We had opportunities where we made runs [and] then all of sudden we had lapses defensively, and it turned then they scored,” said Head Coach Joye-Lee McNelis. “We would make a run like we had dug ourselves out of the pit but then we would make mistakes and they would shove us back down. South Alabama is very good. They truly gave us a good ole fashion butt whooping.”
The Lady Eagles fell behind early, facing a 9-2 deficit due to South Alabama back-to-back three-pointers. A jump shot from junior Kyle Felton helped the Lady Eagles regroup and put them ahead 17-16 by the end of the first period.
Southern Miss had outscored teams in the second quarter 132-90 during the season. However, South Alabama took hold of the game as it outscored the Lady Eagles 21-8.
“The mental side of our team has got to get tougher,” McNelis said. “We’ve got to be able to mentally become tougher in situations when [South Alabama] made runs to be able to get stops and they just had their way with us in the [second] quarter.”
The Jaguars shot 7-for-11 from the three-point line which was key in their 37-25 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half, the Lady Eagles managed to close the deficit to 39-35 with 5:41 left in the third quarter but South Alabama was not deterred as it extended its lead with a 5-0 run.
From there Southern Miss could not overpower the Jaguars as they built their lead to as much as 22 points by the end of the fourth quarter.
South Alabama had five different players finish with double-digit in scoring, led by senior Chyna Ellis’ 24 points.
Senior Jayla King led the Lady Eagles with her third double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and pulling in 11 rebounds. Senior Megan Brown finished second in scoring with 11 points.
“It’s early in the year, the journey is really long and we just got to continue to get better,” McNelis said. “But its early in the year, it was a great learning experience for us and well learn a lot in film.”
The Lady Eagles will now have two weeks of rest before they travel to play Ole Miss on Dec. 12. The game time is still to be announced but it will be aired on the SEC Network.