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Joye Lee-McNelis records win No. 500

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 11:16 PM CST
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Southern Miss Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Southern Miss women’s basketball coach Joye Lee-McNelis was quick to pass the credit elsewhere as she celebrated her 500th win with a 72-42 triumph over crosstown opponent William Carey at Reed Green Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon.

”As I thought about it, there’s just so many people along the way that have made this possible,” said McNelis on the accomplishment. “I was 28 years old when I started coaching and I had no clue what I was doing. I’m just so thankful for all the coaches, players and fans that have impacted my life in so many ways. There’s just been a lot of people who have impacted my life and made this possible.”

For McNelis, she becomes the 85th DI head women’s basketball coach to reach 500 wins in a career, and one of just 35 active coaches to hit the milestone.

In her first start for the Lady Eagles, graduate student Lauren Gross got the Southern Miss offense going early, as she knocked down two of her career-high three 3′s in the opening quarter of play. The Southaven, Miss. native finished the game with 14 points, going 5-of-9 from the floor and three steals, all career bests.

Conference USA Co-Freshman of the Year Melyia Grayson led all scorers with 16 points and crashed the boards for seven rebounds. Fellow sophomore Brikayla Gray finished just shy of Grayson with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and dished out four assists without a turnover.

Transfer Domonique Davis filled up the stat sheet with seven points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals in her first game with the Lady Eagles, while Asia Broughton, Morgan Dillard and Macy Weaver all had their first baskets in the Black and Gold.

On the defensive side of the ball, Southern Miss forced 27 Crusader turnovers and held William Carey to just 14-of-51 from the field. The 42 points allowed are the fewest in a game since Nov. 16 of 2019 against ULM.

Southern Miss returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 13 with future Sun Belt foe ULM coming to Reed Green Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT.

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