RUSTON, LA (WLBT) - The Lady Eagles started the game off on the right foot against LA Tech, but ultimately fell to the Lady Techsters, 106-85.
Southern Miss (13-11, 5-6) won the tip and scored the first points thanks to a good jumper by Shonte Hailes, managed to stay within reach for the entirety of the game, but was ultimately defeated by the Lady Techsters (13-11, 5-6). The two are now tied in Conference USA, both touting the same record. The Lady Eagles didn’t go down without a fight, playing the game with blood, sweat and tears. It was a pressure-filled game, and the Lady Techsters had an obvious home-court advantage. Shonte Hailes was the Lady Eagles’ top scorer for the eighth time this season as she hit a new career-high of 30 points in Thomas Assembly Center. Junior Respect Leaphart was just one rebound shy of her second double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds. Daishai Almond tied her career-high 13 points 5-for-6 from the floor and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Three Lady Eagles finished with double-figure scoring and it was the first 30-point game for a Southern Miss player this season. Shonte Hailes had her third game in a row with 20 or more points. This was the first time since March of 2010 that the Lady Eagles have allowed their opponent to score 100 or more points, the last was against East Carolina where they scored 102. Southern Miss had the highest point total of a game this season with 85, and hit 50% from the field for the sixth game this season going 31-for-53. Leaphart and Hailes both had good performances from the free-throw line, with Leaphart going 6-for-6 and Hailes at 8-for-10.
In a dual amongst guards, a matchup between Shonte Hailes and Kierra Anthony, Hailes continued to try and will the Lady Eagles back into the game. “We played intentionally in spurts, but we got in a hole. Every time we tried to dig ourselves out we’d have an offensive foul or didn’t clean up on the glass. We cut it to 10 so many times, but we either gave up a foul or a wide-open three-ball. We just couldn’t get out of quicksand tonight. It’s a tough loss, but we can’t define ourselves off this loss. We have to get back to the way we play. We have to get back in our good habits in practice and that will get us back in the game.”
The Lady Eagles continue their road tripping ways after a few days of practice, heading to Texas to take on UTSA and UTEP on Feb. 14 and 16.