The USM Lady Eagles gear up for a home series against Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University, but first they work to figure out what went wrong on the road.
Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis chalked it up to inexperience. “The uncertainty and the unknown of this team is the inexperience,” McNelis said. “We weren't quite sure how we would respond to being on the road and unfortunately for us it wasn't as good as we hoped.”
The Lady Eagles (8-6, 1-2) are coming off a 53-45 loss at Old Dominion on Jan. 9.
“You know last weekend was our first road series in Conference USA play and prior to that road swing we had really practiced very well and played very well against Louisiana Tech,” said McNelis.
The Golden eagles have home court advantage but it will take more than that to stop FAU. The Lady Owls are lethal from the three point line. Florida Atlantic is averaging 72.0 points and 37.6 rebounds per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 69.7 percent from the line.
“FAU takes 30 three balls a game that's a lot of three balls,” said McNelis.
Junior Lashyra Cotton said, “We have to contest the shot with high hands, we're closing out close up instead of far off like we do with some posts.”
The game against Florida Atlantic will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Network.
“We need to show the national network how the people of the Hattiesburg Community support the Lady Eagles,” McNelis said. “We need a large number here sitting down close cheering the Lady Eagles to victory.”
Cotton agrees, “ I’d love to see the fans come out and support and see us get two home wins. To see how hard we play and see how fun the game actually is.
Tip off against FAU is set for Thursday, Jan. 14 at Reed Green Coliseum. Following the Florida Atlantic game, the Lady Eagles conclude the two-game home swing with a game against FIU on Saturday, Jan. 16. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.