HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – Not surprisingly, the University of Southern Mississippi women’s basketball team got off to a relatively slow start Saturday evening in their first appearance at Reed Green Coliseum.
But once the Lady Eagles got warmed up, they got hot.
USM outscored visiting Spring Hill College by 16 points in the second quarter and rode that cushion to an 83-66 exhibition victory.
The Lady Eagles trailed the Lady Badgers 14-13 after one period before shooting 55.5 percent from the floor and outscoring Spring Hill 29-13 in the second period.
USM guard Shonte Hailes, a Preseason All-Conference USA selection, scored a game-high 22 points. She also had five rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Guard Allie Kennedy added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, while sophomore Destiny Smith stepped forward with 12 points and two steals.
Amber Landing grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and blocked three shots. Guard Alaire Mayze scored five points, pulled down seven rebounds, handed out six assists and came up with four steals. Imani Carter had nine points, six rebounds and two assists.
Newcomers Jalise Smallwood (four points, two assists, two steals) and Liz Gibbs (five points, two assists) both chipped in their first appearances.
All of the Lady Eagles who dressed played and scored at least two points. USM scored 33 points off 30 Spring Hill turnovers and had 11 second-chance points.
Katie Krout scored a team-high 21 points for Spring Hill. She also had eight rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Tiffany Valentine added 15 points, nine rebounds and two assists for the Lady Badgers.
The Lady Eagles open the season at 11 a.m. Tuesday when they welcome cross-town foe William Carey University to Reed Green Coliseum for Education Day.