HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi Lady Eagles could not find their shooting touch Sunday afternoon.
The Lady Eagles never cracked 40 percent shooting from the floor in any of four quarters at Reed Green Coliseum, unable to prevent the University of Houston from pulling away to a 61-44 victory in the final game of the calendar year.
The teams were tied 10-10 after one quarter before the Lady Cougars (6-7) squeezed ahead 23-19 at halftime.
The Lady Eagles (8-5) trailed by nine points after three periods and still were down nine when forward Respect Leaphart hit a jumper with 4 minutes, 32 seconds, left to play.
Those were USM’s last points.
Wing Alarie Mayze led USM with nine points, with Leaphart and center Felicity Jones scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds apiece.
Point guard Shonte Hailes returned after missing 2 ½ games with an ankle injury, scoring five points and handing out three assists in 33 minutes.
Houston got 15 points and three assists from guard Jasmyne Harris, 11 points and four assists from forward Dorian Branch. Guard Serithia Hawkins grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
USM opens Conference USA play Thursday, hosting Rice University to Green Coliseum.