Lady Eagles’ second half rally defeats Texas Southern

Published 11:00 am Friday, March 20, 2015

HATTIESBURG, Miss.–The Southern Miss women’s basketball team rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit in defeating Texas Southern 79-69 Thursday night in the first round of the WNIT.

Southern Miss improved to 23-10 while Texas Southern dropped to 19-10.

Tamara Jones led all scorers with a game-high 26 points to go with 11 rebounds. Jerontay Clemons added nine points while six other Lady Eagles scored six or more points.

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Southern Miss shot an impressive 59.4 percent in the second half. The Lady Eagles finished the game outscoring TSU 44-16 on points in the paint. Southern Miss also outscored TSU 19-8 on second chance points. The Lady Eagles came up with 30 points off 18 TSU turnovers.

Southern Miss took a 7-1 lead to start the game, Texas Southern then used a 19-6 run over 5:25 in taking a 22-15 lead. The Tigers continued to hit timely shots and pushed the lead to 29-20 with 5:05 to go before the half. Kierra Jordan hit a basket underneath, but TSU answered with a basket and free throw to push the lead to double digits, 32-22. Southern Miss fought back to cut the lead to 34-30, but TSU hit three straight three-pointers for the 43-30 lead with under a minute remaining in the half. Megan Brown hit a three to draw Southern Miss within 10 at the half, 43-33.

Southern Miss opened the second half outscoring TSU 14-3 in taking a 47-46 lead just four minutes into the second half. Jones did most of the damage eight of the 14 points, including the completion of a four-point play. With that four-point play, Jones became the 24th member of the 1,000 point club and more importantly, put the Lady Eagles ahead for the first time since 11-10 in the first half.

The teams traded baskets over alternating possessions before the Lady Eagles scored 10 straight points for the 59-50 lead. TSU managed to cut the lead to 59-57 using a 7-0 run, but Southern Miss got back-to-back threes from Brooke Rhodes and Clemons to push the lead to eight, 65-57. Over the final eight minutes, Southern Miss led by as many as 16, but TSU hit a pair of threes and free throws to get within 10 in the final minute.

Southern Miss will now play TCU on Sunday at 2 p.m.

USM Media Relations