HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi women's basketball coach Joye Lee-McNelis expected Wednesday's Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic matchup against Northern Kentucky to be a grinder.
This expectation was met and it gave the Lady Eagles their second loss in tournament play, 58-53. They finished the week with a 1-2 record (defeated Xavier).
Lee-McNelis' goal of preparing her team for the late season push was met as well.
"Coming to Las Vegas was a great opportunity for us to see how we'd react in a tournament situation," Lee-McNelis said. "Three games in three days is so important. We all have to learn, players and coaches. We all have to reflect, see what we see back and make the change."
Freshman point guard Shonte Hailes proved the college stage isn't too big for her, pouring in a team-high 19 points. Megan Brown paced the Lady Eagles with 12 rebounds.
Now 8-4 on the season, USM opens up Conference USA play December 28 at Louisiana Tech.