Southern Miss has trailed at the half in all three of their WNIT games this postseason, but no matter the deficit the Lady Golden Eagles have found a way to grind out wins including Wednesday night against Eastern Michigan.
"It feels good especially doing it in front of the crowd we had," USM senior forward Tamara Jones said. "All the students and the fans and family, friends all of them and it really feels good because I think coach [Joye Lee-McNelis] said we were going to be the first in a long time or are the first to move on to the elite eight."
The head coach added, "before the players made it up to the locker room they had already opened the doors and the players came in the locker room and they were already ecstatic. 'Coach there's a whole bunch of people coming in already!'"
Key second-half contributions from Voche Martin and Ashley Folsom were instrumental in the Black and Gold's 76-65 win against EMU.
"It's funny because we talk about how when we go in at halftime when we're down, we feel more comfortable than if we're up because we're known to be a second half team," Folsom said. "I don't know, we're just more comfortable with being the underdogs."
Senior guard Alex Coyne noticed that "the thing that's cool is that there's a different hot hand at every point in the game. You know, Voche Martin was a hot hand, Brittanny Dinkins was a hot hand at one point. Jerontay Clemons was a hot hand. You just got to be aware of who the hot hand is and you got to keep going until they can't score anymore."
Southern Miss now awaits the winner of the Michigan-Missouri matchup as those two face off to see who will join USM in the quarterfinals of the WNIT.