HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ The University of Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles needed a few minutes Tuesday night to get in gear against Blue Mountain College at Reed Green Coliseum.
But once the Lady Eagles got going, they ended up rolling, wrapping up a three-game homestand with a feel-good 84-38 victory over the Lady Toppers, who treated the game as an exhibition.
Youth had its day, as USM red-shirt freshman center Kelsey Jones posted the second double-double of her career with a personal-best 20 points and 13 rebounds. Jones, who also had two assists and two steals, made 10-of-12 shots from the floor.
Freshman point guard Daishai Almond finished with eight assists, a single-game high for a Lady Eagle this season.
Almond, who was named Conference USA Freshman of the Week for her play last week against Alcorn State University and fifth-ranked Mississippi State University, made the first start of her career Tuesday. The Athens, Ga., native stepped into the lineup in place of injured junior Shonte Hailes, who went down with an ankle injury against MSU Friday.
Junior wing Alarie Maize hit 7-of-9 shots and finished with 14 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds and had six steals.
Sophomore guard Allie Kennedy added 10 points for the Lady Eagles (7-4), who shot 57.6 percent from the floor and outrebounded its National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics foe 39-22.
The Toppers (1-8), who shot just 25.6 percent from the floor, got 12 points from senior guard Marlee Hatcher.
Twelve Lady Eagles played Tuesday and 10 scored at least a point.
USM will take to the road Thursday, traveling to Hammond, La., for a 6 p.m. tipoff with Southeastern Louisiana University.