Lady Eagles sweep UTSA behind Warmsley’s 25 points

Lady Eagles sweep UTSA behind Warmsley’s 25 points
University of Southern Mississippi basketball coach Joye Lee-McNelis (sitting, center) huddles uo with her Lady Eagles Saturday durung USM's 73-66 Conference USA victory over University of Texas-San Antonio at Reed Green Coliseum.

From the University of Southern Mississippi Sports Information Department

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Freshman guard Kahia Warmsley poured in a career-high 25 points and the University of Southern Mississippi led the entire game in topping the University of Texas-San Antonio, 73-66, Saturday afternoon at Reed Green Coliseum.

The victory gave the Lady Eagles (5-5, 3-5 Conference USA) their first conference sweep of the season while extending their winning streak to a season-best three games.

Warmsley knocked down 10-of-15 shots from the floor, including all three of her 3-point attempts.  She also had four rebounds and three steals.

Brikayla Gray added 14 points and four rebounds for the Lady Eagles and Kelsey Jones had 10 points and seven rebounds. Both Gray and Jones made 5-of-7 shots from the field.

Warmsley’s points were the most by a freshman since Jones went for 21 points in the 2018-19 season.

“In the second half, Kahia Warmsley, Brikayla Gray, and then Kelsey (Jones) in the fourth quarter, really took control of things,” USM coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. “Kahia stepped up huge for us and made some big threes behind the ball screen. You can see her as a freshman continue to soar and continue to get better and better.”

For a second consecutive evening, UTSA made just two baskets in the first quarter. But unlike Friday night, when USM buried the Lady Roadrunners, 26-4 in the opening period, the Lady Eagles held a more modest 14-7 lead after one period Saturday.

And, much like Friday night, UTSA (2-11, 0-8) played the Lady Eagles even-steven over the final three quarters.

The Lady Roadrunners snipped a point off USM’s lead in the second quarter, leaving the Lady Eagles ahead 33-27 at halftime.

UTSA made a run in the third quarter and cut the gap to 37-33 with 5 minutes, 3 seconds, remaining. But the Lady Eagles went on a 7-0 run to regain control, with freshman Rose Warren scoring the final four points in the burst.

USM led by nine, 50-41, heading into the final quarter, and the lead grew to 14 points with less than three minutes to play before a final UTSA push.

The Lady Eagles return to action when they travel to Ruston, La., for a Thursday night game, with Louisiana Tech University. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Thomas Assembly Center.

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