NORFOLK, Va. – The University of Southern Mississippi lost senior guard Shonte Hailes late in in the first half Thursday of its Conference USA women’s basketball game at Old Dominion University.
The Lady Eagles then proceeded to lose their shooting touch late in the fourth quarter, and in the process, lost their fourth consecutive game, a 67-50 decision to ODU at Chartway Arena
USM (11-8, 3-5 Conference USA) trailed by five points at halftime and entered the final period down seven, 42-35.
A pair of buckets by Lady Eagles cut the lead to three points and USM still trailed by only four, 52-48, with 4:52 to play on a layup by senior Alarie Mayze.
But ODU freshman guard Victoria Morris hit a free throw, then poured in a 3-pointer 90 seconds later to boost the Lady Monarchs’ advantage to 56-48 with 4:21 to play.
USM senior forward Amber Landing scored on a layup to get USM back within six points, but those were the Lady Eagles’ final points, as USM went 0-for-7 from the field over the final 2:38.
As it turned out, Morris 3-pointer marked ODU’s field goal of the evening. But the Lady Monarchs paraded to the free-throw line 12 times, knocking down 11 of them, including 7-of-8 by senior guard Taylor Edwards.
The victory was the sixth in a row for the Lady Monarchs (17-3, 7-1) and ODU’s 12th consecutive home victory.
Mayze led USM with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Hailes, who went down with about four minutes left in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury, scored 14 points in her 13 minutes on the court. The extent of her injury was not revealed and her availability for USM’s Saturday road stop at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte was not known.
Senior forward Respect Leaphart finished with 11 points and three rebounds and sophomore point guard Daishai Almond added four points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals.
ODU was led by sophomore guard Aziah Hudson, who scored 15 points in 18 minutes. Hudson was 5-of-5 from the floor, including g 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
Edwards, who hit 10-of-16 from the free-throw line, finished with a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Edwards also handed a game-high eight assists.
Sophomore forwards Amari Hudson also scored 14 points for the Lady Monarchs while grabbing four rebounds.
The Lady Eagles will square off with UNC-Charlotte (13-7, 4-4) at 3 p.m. Saturday in Charlotte, N.C.