Jones, Faulkner Lead Southern Miss Past UTSA 70-57

Southern Miss Athletics Press Release

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Tamara Jones and Jamierra Faulkner netted 15 and 19 points, respectively as Southern Miss women's basketball team improved to 2-0 in Conference USA play with a 70-57 win over UTSA Saturday.

The Lady Eagles improved to 13-2 overall, the best start since 2003-04, while UTSA dropped to 9-6 overall and 0-2 in league play.

"Jamierra was spectacular in that first half with no turnovers," Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "She played very poised when we needed her to. UTSA makes a run and she puts her game in overdrive. Not only was she very good, there were a lot of Lady Eagles who were very good today."

Faulkner finished the game with a double-double of 19 points and 12 assists. Jerontay Clemons hauled in a team-best seven rebounds. Nine of the 11 players scored at least two points in the game.

"This was a close game and both teams competed," McNelis said. "Coach Lichonczak does a tremendous job. He makes it difficult to guard that dribble-drive action."

Southern Miss finished the game shooting 49.1 percent from the field, aided by 52 percent in the second half. The Lady Eagles also held the rebounding edge 35-29.

UTSA held an early 5-2 lead before the teams settled into a back and forth affair for the first six minutes. With the Roadrunners leading 12-10, Faulkner ignited an 11-2 run with a three-pointer.  Clemons, Brittanny Dinkins and Ashley Folsom all added points during the run to give Southern Miss a 21-14 advantage. Following a Kamra King three-pointer, the Lady Eagles ran off eight straight points for a double digit lead for the first time, 29-17. Southern Miss led 35-26 at the half.

Jones got the Lady Eagles going in the second scoring the first points of the half. The teams continued to trade baskets for the next 11 minutes. UTSA got the margin under double figures, 53-44, after Ashley Spaletta hit a three. Southern Miss then outscored UTSA 15-4 over a span of three minutes to put the game out of reach.

UTSA's King led all scorers with a game-high 21 points and Ashley Spaletta added 11 points. McKenzie Adams grabbed a team-best six rebounds for the Roadrunners.

Southern Miss remains at home and will host Old Dominion on Wednesday, January 15 at 7 p.m.