Southern Miss wins out at Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic

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The Lady Eagles opened play on Nov. 24 with a 72-67 against Alcorn State. Senior Jayla King led the team with a career-high of 30 points.

“Jayla did a tremendous job of scoring the ball for us,” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis. “Despite us making a lot of mental mistakes down the stretch, her performance was a positive.”

The Lady Braves kept things close in the first period as they only trailed by three at 18-15.

In the second period, a series of runs sparked several momentum shifts. King helped kick start a 5-0 run that extended Southern Miss’ lead but Alcorn St. responded with a 6-0 run that closed the game to 25-23.

The Lady Eagles ended the half with a 9-2 run to put Southern Miss ahead at 34-25.

At the start of the second half the Lady Braves put together a 13-3 run that put them ahead, 41-40. A shot from junior Megan Brown put the Lady Eagles back on top at the end of the third period at 48-44.

Southern Miss held off Alcorn St. as they closed the game to within one possession multiple times but Southern Miss held on for the win.

Senior Jayla King led the team with a career high of 30 points a career-high as well as posting a career-high of five assists. Sophomore Shonte Hailes finished second on the team in points with 16.

“We’ve challenged Jayla and Shonte,” McNelis said. “Jayla and Shonte are two players that have to make it happen for us every game. These two have to have the ball in their hands for us to be successful.”

The next day the Lady Eagles blew out Alabama State 72- 35 to finish out the Classic.

Southern Miss put together a strong all-around effort both offensively and defensively.

Ten different Lady Eagles scored, with Brown leading with 15 points and King second with 13 points. Defensively, Southern Miss held the Lady Hornets to shooting 12-of- 56 from the field as a team.

Southern Miss started the game with a 13-2 run in the first period which was started with a jump shot from Brown. This early run put the Lady Eagles ahead at halftime 36-20.

In the fourth period the Lady Eagles held Alabama St. to shooting just 6.7 percent and closed the game with a 14-0 run.

“I think we made some strides tonight,” McNelis said. “We challenged the team this morning in our shoot around and they did a very good job of answering that challenge.”

Southern Miss traveled to Natchitoches, La. to play Northwestern State on Nov. 28 but results were not known at press time.