HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Guard Brittany Dinkins scored 18 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out six assists Saturday evening to lead the University of Southern Mississippi to a 71-49 victory over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in the finals of the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic.
Dinkins, who averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in USM's wins over Alcorn State Friday and UL-Lafayette, was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
USM guard Brittany Norris scored 15 of her team-high 19 points in the second half against the Ragin' Cajuns, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
Norris was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 17.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in two games.
Forward Jaylla King posted a double-double for the Lady Eagles (5-1) with 10 points and 11 rebounds
Guard Jaylyn Gordon scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Ragin Cajuns (2-2) Saturday, while forward Gabby Alexander added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Gordon and UL-Lafayette forward Simone Fields were named to the all-tournament team, as were Alcorn State University point guard Tia Sanders and Southeast Mississippi State University guard Hannah Noe.
SMSU (3-4) defeated Alcorn State (0-5) 68-50 earlier Saturday in the tournament's consolation game.
UL-Lafayette led 14-12 after the first quarter Saturday, but a 7-1 run sparked by a pair of baskets by guard Keri Jewett-Giles and another by Lashyra Cotton gave USM a lead it never would lose.
The Lady Eagles saw the Ragin' Cajuns cut a 10-point deficit to 49-45 with 7:28 left in the game on Gordon's 3-pointer.
But Norris answered with a trey of her own, then stole the ball and fed Dinkins for a layup that bumped the lead back to nine points, 54-45.
Alexander scored down low to get UL-Lafayette's deficit back to seven with 6:35 to play, but Norris had a 3-pointer and a layup sandwiched around a Dinkins layup to push USM's lead back to 61-48 with 3:19 left in the game.
The Lady Eagles will host Mississippi Valley State University at 4 p.m. Thursday.