Late second half surge helps Lady Eagle hoops survive TCU 77-73 in overtime

Late second half surge helps Lady Eagle hoops survive TCU 77-73 in overtime

This is a news release from Southern Miss athletics

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss overcame a 14-point deficit with less than six minutes remaining in the game to send the it into overtime before outscoring TCU 16-12 in the extra period for a 77-73 victory Sunday afternoon. Southern Miss advances to the third round of the WNIT for the second time.

Jerontay Clemons came up with some heroics in the final three minutes of regulation, scoring 12 of the Lady Eagles final 14 points. Clemons finished with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Tamara Jones led the Lady Eagles with 19 points while Voche' Martin added 12 and Brooke Rhodes chipped in 11, but done bigger than her final six points in the overtime period on back-to-back threes.

Southern Miss trailed by 14 points with 5:49 remaining in regulation by a score of 53-39. Martin kicked started the Lady Eagle run at the 4:41 mark with a jumper in the paint followed by jumper by Jones. TCU added a pair of free throws to keep the margin at 12. Southern Miss and TCU traded baskets for free throws over a 39 second span. With the visitors leading 59-47, Clemons added a free throw before she scored again to get the lead under 10. Jones' steal led to another basket by Clemons in cutting the lead to 59-52. Jones added basket off an offensive rebound before TCU's Zahna Medley hit a pair of free throws to get the score to 61-54.

From there, it was all Clemons as she scored again with the chance for the three-point play, but missed the free throw. Jones came up with another steal before getting the ball into Clemons hands again for another score. Southern Miss trailed 61-58 with 54 seconds remaining. Clemons then went to the free throw line, converting both to cut the lead to 61-60. Clemons then got a steal and was fouled with 19 seconds remaining in regulation. Clemons made the first to tie the game, but missed the second before making perhaps her biggest play of the day with an offensive rebound. The Lady Eagles had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but Jones shot missed its mark.

In the overtime period, Martin got the offense going with a bucket underneath to give Southern Miss its first lead since the waning minutes in the first half. Clemons made one of two free throws for the 64-61 lead. TCU's Medley hit one of her six threes to tie the game at 64-64. Rhodes then buried back-to-back threes to give the Lady Eagles a 70-64 advantage. TCU hit three of four free throws to cut the lead to 70-67. Alex Coyne found a wide open Martin before Jones made one of two from the line in pushing the lead to six. The Lady Eagles had a defensive stop and TCU began to foul, putting the Lady Eagles on the line. Clemons' two free throws push the lead to eight, 75-67, with 18 seconds remaining. Donielle Breaux then hit a three with 13 seconds remaining to get the score to 75-70. Martin finished the scoring for Southern Miss with a pair of free throws before Breaux another three as time expired for the final 77-73.

Southern Miss shot 28.1 percent in the first half and trailed 23-21 at the half. The teams went back and forth for much of the first half. The Lady Eagles shot 50 percent in the second half, finishing the game shooting 41.4 percent from the field. TCU held a 48-45 rebounding edge against Southern Miss. However, the Lady Eagles outscored TCU 40-22 on points in the paint.

TCU's Medley led all scorers with a game-high 26 points. Chelsea Prince and Donielle Breaux added 13 points each. Prince also had a team-best 11 rebounds.