COURTESY OF SOUTHERN MISS ATHLETICS
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss women's basketball team used a balanced scoring attack in upsetting No. 21/25 Middle Tennessee 68 56 in Conference USA action Wednesday night.
This was the first win over a nationally ranked team since Feb. 27, 2000 when the Lady Eagles defeated No. 18/20 Tulane 78-72.
Sophomore Jerontay Clemons led a quartet of Lady Eagles with a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds followed by junior Tamara Jones with 15 points, Voche' Martin added 12 points and Kierra Jordan chipped in 10. Jamierra Faulkner finished with 11 assists.
Both teams came out battling early as the first half featured 10 ties and four lead changes. The teams traded baskets through the first five minutes of the game before the Jones connected a three-pointer in starting a 7-0 run for the Lady Eagles in taking a 13-5 lead. MT answered right back in scoring five straight to tie the game at 13-13. For the final eight minutes, the teams traded baskets and Middle Tennessee led 29-27 at the half.
Southern Miss scored the first points of the second half to knot the score at 29-29. The Blue Raiders led 34-33 with 16:29 remaining when Southern Miss used a 14-2 run in giving the Lady Eagles their first double digit lead of the game, 47-36. Middle Tennessee's KeKe Stewart hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 47-39 with 9:55 remaining.
Southern Miss continued to build on its lead and led by as many as 15 points late in the game before the visitors cut the lead to nine, 65-56, with 44 seconds remaining, but the Lady Eagles hit 3-of-4 free throws for the 68-56 win.
Ebony Rowe led all scorers with a game-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. Laken Leonard added 11 points while Olivia Jones pulled down 10 rebounds.
Southern Miss held the rebounding edge 49-40. The Lady Eagles got a big boost from the bench, getting 25 points from the reserves.
The Lady Eagles will hit the road for a game at Charlotte with a 6 p.m. (CT) tip.