Head Coach Joyce Lee-McNelis and the Lady Eagles were firing on all cylinders Saturday afternoon as they dismantled Blue Mountain, 96-46.
Southern Miss’ 96-point outing is the most points scored by the Lady Eagles since scoring 98-pointa against William Carrey on Nov. 14, 2014. Shonte Hailes and Jayla King led the way for the Lady Eagles, scoring 21 and 18 points respectively. Hailes added five assists and King with four rebounds and three assists of her own.
Molly Brown tied her career-high with nine points and knocked down one of the team’s mere two three-point makes. However, the Lady Eagles still struggled in the turnover department with 17 on the day. Something Lee-McNelis attributed to the team’s lack of experience and fast paced transition offense.
“[Turnovers happen] because there’s so many new faces on the floor,” said Lee-McNelis. “That’s why going into this year we knew it was going to be a process. Our coaches have really tried hard to be patient, but I told them when we come back after Christmas that I’m not going to be patient. It’s over now. You’ve got to be able to crank now and they’ve really responded.”
Hailes led Southern Miss in scoring, but more impressive than that shot 90 percent from the field. However, she realizes more so than scoring that helping this team gel together is her responsibility as a leader and as a point guard.
“I think it’s my job as a point guard to not put [younger players] in tough situations. I know I’ve got to make the easy play for them because they might get the flashy one or the no-look. I just have to put them in better situations.
Southern Miss improved to 8-5 with the when over Blue Mountain and will work to find the team chemistry needed approaching conference play. The Lady Eagles will go on the road to face Charlotte next on Jan. 4 at 10:30 a.m. CT.