HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a press release from The University of Southern Mississippi.
The Southern Miss women's basketball team used a stingy defensive effort on Monday night in defeating William Carey 75-34 in the final non-conference game of the year.
Southern Miss improved to 7-4 overall as the Lady Eagles held the Lady Crusaders to just 29.3 percent shooting for the game.
"This was our last game prior to starting conference play," Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. "I challenged out players with several goals and I believe we met all but two. I told our players, it's not just about this game but it's about preparing for Conference USA play.
"Overall, there were a lot of good things we did. I was particularly pleased with our second half efforts because we shot the ball extremely well in that third quarter. We forced ourselves in situations where we made better shots and better decisions," said McNelis.
Brittanny Dinkins paced the Lady Eagles with a game-high 23 points with five assists and seven steals while Caitlin Jenkins added a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Keri Jewett-Giles chipped in 12 points to go with five rebounds and four assists. The Lady Eagles pocketed 16 steals while dishing out 19 assists.
Southern Miss scored 46 points in the paint while getting 30 points off turnovers and 12 second chance points. The Lady Eagles limited William Carey to just two second chance points.
Southern Miss scored the first four points to start the contest before Carey put two points on the scoreboard. For the next four minutes both teams hit a cold spurt. Brittny Norris canned a three in sparking a 10-3 run to close out the first quarter.
William Carey opened the second quarter hitting one of two free throws before the Lady Eagles used a 16-5 run that included scoring 12 straight points in taking a 21-point advantage.
The Lady Eagles kicked up their game another notch in the third quarter, shooting a blistering 81.3 percent from the field on 13-of-16 shooting. Dinkins tossed in 15 points during the period on 7-of-7 shooting.
The fourth quarter tuned into a low scoring affair as Southern Miss finished with 13 points and held William Carey to nine in the process. However, the Lady Eagles were able to close out the final two minutes, outscoring Carey 8-2.
Shania Posey came off the bench to score a team-best 15 points for the Lady Crusaders.
Southern Miss opens Conference USA play on Saturday when Louisiana Tech visits Reed Green Coliseum. The game is set for a 4 p.m. tipoff.