HATTIESBURG, Miss (WDAM) _ Reed Green Coliseum always had been a scene of disappointment for the Middle Tennessee State University women’s basketball team.
That changed Saturday afternoon, as the Lady Raiders rode a 15-point lead after three quarters to a 77-69 Conference USA victory over the University of Southern Miss.
The Lady Eagles (11-8, 3-4 C-USA) dropped their consecutive game, including both ends of a two-game homestand.
The Lady Raiders (13-7, 5-3) picked up their first win in five trips to Hattiesburg.
MTSU led by a point after the first quarter before outscoring USM 21-13 in the second period for a 36-27 halftime lead.
The Lady Eagles outscored the Lady Raiders 8-0 to open the second half and pull within 36-35. MTSU held a five-point lead, 42-37, before closing the quarter on 12-2 run for a 54-39 lead.
USM never got closer than six points in the final period.
The Lady Eagles were cold from the outside, making just 3-of-14 from 3-point range. USM also hurt itself with 22 turnovers.
USM senior guard Shonte Hailes scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out six assists and came away with three steals.
Senior wing Alaire Mayze had 16 points, three rebounds and five assists, while sophomore forward Kelsey Jones posted a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Senior forward Respect Leaphart added 15 points and six rebounds for the Lady Eagles.
MTSU sophomore guard Taylor Sutton scored a game-high 25 points, hitting 10-of-17 shots from the floor, including a trio of treys. She also had six rebounds, two assists, a steal and blocked shot.
Senior forward Charity Savage recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Anastasia Hayes scored in double figures for the 20th consecutive game, going for 14 points with five rebounds and four assists.
MTSU freshman guard Aislynn Hayes had nine points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
USM will travel to Norfolk, Va., to face Old Dominion University at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.