The Lady Eagles traveled to the University of South Alabama this past Sunday, winning 57-48. The Lady Eagles (7-1) extended their win streak to four games beginning on Nov. 25.
In the first quarter, both teams would trade points back-to-back for the first six minutes of the contest. But for the next four minutes of the period, neither team would score a point, keeping the score stagnant at 10-7 with the Lady Eagles leading . Both teams would combine to shoot 0-for-10 for four minute span.
A three-point shot from USA’s Savannah Jones would end the scoring drought and tie the game for South Alabama, 10-10. Jones’ three would be the spark South Alabama needed to obtain their first lead of the quarter, 15-12, but two late scores by Southern Miss would put them up one, 16-15.
USA was able to tie the game early in the second period with free throws, then took the lead and never let the Lady Eagles get it back during that period. South Alabama outscored Southern Miss 15-9 and went into the half with a five-point lead, 30-25.
“It’s going to be a real test for us, to be able to play somebody that’s much bigger than us.” said Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis.
Southern Miss has been able to overcome their size deficiencies, out-rebounding every opponent this season by at least 10. South Alabama would be no different as the Lady Eagles won the rebound battle 39-28. South Alabama has six players who are either six-foot or taller compared to Southern Miss’ two.
Rebounding and forcing turnovers would be the strongest factors of Southern Miss’ game. The Lady Eagles forced 22 turnovers while committing 17 of their own. Rebounding led to offense as the Lady Eagles scored 14 second-chance points and 23 points off turnovers. Freshman forward Respect Leaphart would finish with 10 rebounds and Jayla King would finish with nine.
Southern Miss looks to continue their streak as they face Mississippi State Saturday at home. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.