Lady Eagle basketball survives UTSA 69-60 in overtime

Lady Eagle basketball survives UTSA 69-60 in overtime

This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss women's basketball team outscored UTSA 11-2 in the overtime period as the Lady Eagles defeated the Roadrunners 69-60 in Conference USA action Thursday night. It was the second straight overtime game for the Lady Eagles.

Southern Miss improved to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in league play while UTSA dropped to 6-9 and 1-2.

"I was a little disappointed in how we performed in the first 40 minutes of this game," head coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "Yes, we will take the win. The overtime time was unbelievable when Brooke Rhodes put us on her shoulders and did her best to help us win that game in hitting those big shots for us. You have to give UTSA a lot of credit because they did of coming after us. They were extremely aggressive and we did not handle that very well. We didn't play with the poised that we've played with the last two games in particular.

"Hats off to UTSA," McNelis said. "They did a good job of attacking. We missed a lot of easy shots and that gave them momentum and they made their free throws."

Brooke Rhodes and Tamara Jones led the way with 17 points apiece while Brittanny Dinkins chipped in 12 points. Jones, Dinkins and Rhodes all pulled down five rebounds.

After battling to 58-58 tie in regulation, the Lady Eagles started the overtime period hitting their first three shots including a pair of three-pointers by Rhodes in gaining the momentum. The Lady Eagle defense also held the Roadrunners scoreless for first 4:26.

Both team battled throughout the second half as UTSA fought back from an eight point deficit to tie the game at 38-38. The Lady Eagles used a 7-2 run in taking a 45-40 lead. UTSA was not done and outscored the Lady Eagles 12-6 in taking its first lead of the game 52-51. From there, the teams fought to a 55-55 tie with 4:19 remaining in regulation before Jerontay Clemons put the Lady Eagles ahead 57-55. UTSA hit one of two free throws before adding a basket to give the Roadrunners a one-point advantage 58-57 with 2:38 to go. Both teams hit a cold spell, but Dinkins tied the game with a free throw to send the game into overtime.

Southern Miss sprinted out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back for the first 12 minutes. The Lady Eagles maintained a double digit lead for most of the half before UTSA got its offense on track and rallied in the final five minutes to cut the lead to four heading into halftime.

Kamra King led UTSA with 15 points and Tesha Smith added 10 points off the bench. Ashley Spaletta led the team with seven rebounds.

Southern Miss finished the game shooting just 44.4 percent from the field, but shot 41.4 percent from behind the arc. UTSA held the rebounding edge 38-36. The Lady Eagles also had 27 points off 28 UTSA turnovers.

Southern Miss returns to action on Saturday when the Lady Eagles host UTEP at 4 p.m. The Athletics Department will be celebrating 40 years of women's basketball as former athletes return to the campus for a luncheon, an Alumni game and a postgame social.

The first 100 fans receive a gold Southern Miss t-shirt.