Press release from Southern Miss Athletics
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Lady Eagles used a balanced scoring attack in helping Southern Miss snap a three-game losing streak with a 57-38 win over North Texas in Conference USA action Thursday night.
Southern Miss improved to 11-9 overall and 4-5 in league play while North Texas dropped to 8-11 and 3-6.
“We did a lot of good defensive things,” Head Coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. “The number of charges we had is what Southern Miss basketball is all about. The showed some maturity in our team. We just have to continue to make steps.
“Tonight we were getting out and running hard, but North Texas as a very good transition defense. They got back and we had to work to get shots. We just play with some much confidence at home. Tajanay Veiga did some things that don’t show up on the stat sheet, like her vocal leadership and she took control game.”
Keri Jewett-Giles and Caitlin Jenkins finished with 12 points apiece, Brittanny Dinkins had 11 and Tajanay Veiga added 10. Jenkins also had a team-best 11 points for her 11th double-double. Veiga also dished out six assists and had four steal. Jewett-Giles also pocketed five steals.
Southern Miss opened the game scoring the first five points of the game. However, North Texas was able to cut the lead to one point on three occasions, but each time the Lady Eagles answered with a run of their own. Southern Miss led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter after finishing with 10 points off turnovers.
The Black and Gold extended its lead to eight, 23-15, before the Mean Green fought back in cutting the lead to 23-21 at the 4:44 mark in the quarter. Southern Miss closed out the half strong, outscoring North Texas 10-2 over the final 4:31 that included a 3:17 scoring drought for the Mean Green went 3:17 in taking a 33-23 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, the Lady Eagles continued to display their defensive prowess and held North Texas scoreless for the first 7:03. The scoring drought last 10:20 for the Mean Green, including 3:17 from the second quarter. Southern Miss pushed the lead to 20 points, before North Texas ended the drought with a basket.
The teams played evenly throughout the final quarter with Southern Miss ending North Texas 12-11. The home team led by as many as 24 points during the quarter, but North Texas was able to get the lead under 20 before the game ended.
Acheil Tac led the Mean Green with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Southern Miss edged North Texas 26-22 on points in the paint, but had a substantial advantage in points off turnovers 24-9.
The Lady Eagles are back in action on Saturday when Southern Miss hosts Rice at 4 p.m. The game has been designated as the Former Basketball Letterwinner Day as all former players, coaches, managers and trainers invited back for this celebration.