Southern Miss traveled to Southwest Miami to face the Florida International University Panthers. With the 78-65 point victory the Lady Eagles improve to 16-7 overall and 9-3 in Conference-USA play. The 13 point loss dropped FIU to 3-19, with a 0-11 C-USA record.
Voche’ Martin played her best game as a Lady Eagle. Martin scored 22 points, her first time hitting the 20 point mark in her career. “Offensive player of the game for us is Voche’ Martin” said McNelis. “As much as she battled against their post players, she gave us a lot offensively and really scored the ball around the basket.”
Martin also played big on the defensive side of the ball, finishing the night with four blocks and two steals. “We had to switch our defenses and it gave us some effectiveness,” McNelis said. “They ran some offenses that we had not seen in game film and it took us a couple of plays to adjust.”
The first half was close as neither team was able to build a substantial lead. Southern Miss held the largest lead in the first half, a 12-point 22-34 lead with 5:56 left in the first half.
The Lady Panthers cut down the Lady Eagles’ lead, in large part to Taylor Shade. Shade scored nine points in the last five minutes of the half to help the FIU Panthers take a one point, 43-42, half-time lead.
It took a while for both teams to settle down in the second half. Southern Miss saw its 49-45 second half lead slip away as the Lady Panthers went on a 8-2 run. With just under seven minutes remaining in the game, the score was tied at 60 apiece.
Southern Miss ran the offensive through Martin and she led them on a 13-2 run to seal the game. In the final minutes of the game, Southern Miss made five of their eight free throw attempts to seal the 78-65 point victory.
The Lady Eagles finished the game shooting 52.7 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from behind the arch and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. Southern Miss outscored FIU 36-18 on points in the paint and had 35 points off 24 FIU turnovers.