HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Lady Eagles captured their first conference win of the season against Charlotte behind junior Shonte Hailes, 65-54.
The Lady Eagles (9-9, 1-4) came up with the win over the 49ers (10-7, 2-3) thanks to junior Shonte Hailes who put up 23 points. Hailes also led the team in steals with four and in assists with three. She was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line, the most of any Southern Miss player this season and the most of her career. Hailes has had at least one 3-pointer in nine games as of tonight. The Lady Eagles topped the 49ers in every quarter, and held the lead for a total of 33 minutes. The bench played their part for Southern Miss once again, with 19 points from the bench and only 9 from Charlotte's. Kelsey Jones and Megan Brown also had good performances for the Lady Eagles, Brown scoring 12 and Jones with 9. Jones led the team in rebounds, with 7 boards; finishing just shy of her third double-double of the season. Four different Lady Eagles dropped a 3-ball and six swiped a steal from the 49ers.
Southern Miss found their stride against the 49ers, finding their first conference win of the season. The five game winning streak of Charlotte against Southern Miss was finally broken and the Lady Eagles found their first win of January. Southern Miss pressed for most of the game, a defensive strategy they haven't explored much this season, but it paid off. The Lady Eagles outrebounded the 49ers overall with 34 to Charlotte's 25. Of those 34, 23 were defensive boards, and USM had 14 points off turnovers in comparison to Charlotte's 12. Respect Leaphart had a big hand in the first half, leading the Lady Eagles with . Alarie Mayze held Laia Raventos to only 10 points and 2 assists, when she is normally their leading assister.
The Lady Eagles look to continue their success against the Monarchs of Old Dominion when they come to Reed Green on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 4pm