BIRMINGHAM, AL (WDAM) - For the second consecutive game at the 2017 Conference USA Women's Basketball Tournament, The University of Southern Mississippi used a finishing run to finish off an opponent.
The third-seeded Lady Eagles outscored second-seeded Middle Tennessee State University 8-0 over the final 1 minute, 56 seconds, to take a 59-54 victory in the tournament semifinals at Legacy Arena.
USM (23-9) will face top-seeded Western Kentucky University at 4:30 p.m. at Legacy Arena in the tournament championship. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
USM senior guard Brittanny Dinkins, who hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 1:56 to play, led the Lady Eagles with 11 points. Forward Jayla King added 10 points and seven rebounds, while forward Respect Learned had nine points and guard Keri Jewett-Giles eight.
MTSU, which went scoreless over the final 2:12 of the game, was led by 15 points each from guard Ty Petty and forward Rebecca Rueters. Petty had nine rebounds, Reuters seven.
After Dinkins tied the game at 54-54, guard Megan Brown hit a free throw to put the Lady Eagles ahead 55-54. Jewett-Giles drove the lane to hit a leaning jumper for a three-point lead with 24 seconds to play.
Dinkins two free throws with 5 seconds to play capped the scoring.
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