Lady Eagles deal 1st-place UAB 1st C-USA loss

Lady Eagles deal 1st-place UAB 1st C-USA loss
USM (9-9, 2-3), which saw a two-game winning streak snapped. (Photo source: USM)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WDAM) - Sophomore guard Shonte Hailes and junior swingman Megan Brown became the first Lady Eagles to score at least 20 points in the same game this season as the University of Southern Mississippi defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham 80-63 Thursday night at Bartow Arena.

It was USM's most decisive win over the Lady Blazers in 11 years, and handed first-place UAB its first Conference USA loss of the year. The Lady Blazers (14-3, 3-1 C-USA) also saw a seven-game winning streak snapped.

The Lady Eagles (10-7, 2-2), which won for the first time on the road in C-USA play, knocked down a season-high 10 baskets from 3-point range and hit 18-of-25 free throws. USM shot 48.1 percent from the floor, its best shooting percentage in a conference game this season.

Hailes topped her career high with 28 points, hitting 9-of-13 shots, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. She also handed out four assists.

Brown, who hit 7-of-15 shots, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, tied her career high with 21 points and snagged five rebounds.

USM forward Jayla Brown fought through first-half foul trouble to post her seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Twelve points and nine rebounds came in the second half. She also came up with four steals.

Sophomore forward Respect Leaphart finished with a season-high 15 points for the Lady Eagles.

UAB got a team-high 19 points from sophomore forward Rachael Childress, who made 6-of-10 shots, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range.

Sophomore guard Mynah Barnes added 13 points and three assists for the Lady Blazers, sophomore forward Imani Johnson had 10 points and four rebounds and senior forward Kara Rawls grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

USM led 20-18 after one quarter and steadily continued to expand its lead. The Lady Eagles led by 40-33 at halftime, 60-52 after three quarters and then outscored UAB by nine points in the final period.

The Lady Eagles will wrap up a two-game road swing when they visit Middle Tennessee State University at 1 p.m. Saturday in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The game will be streamed over ESPN3 and can be heard on "The Score" 1400-AM.

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