EL PASO, TX (WLBT) - The Lady Eagles leave Texas with another win under their belt, this time against UTEP. Southern Miss had Alarie Mayze to thank for clinching the defeat of the Miners, as well as a season-best performance from Amber Landing.
Southern Miss (15-11, 7-6 C-USA) came away with a last-second win against UTEP (6-20, 3-10 C-USA), claiming the victory in thrilling fashion thanks to the 3-point work of Alarie Mayze. Mayze, a junior who had previously made just two 3-pointers this season, clinched the game by dropping a shot from beyond the arc with less than two seconds on the clock.
Southern Miss started off hot in the first quarter, winning the tip, putting the first points on the board, and starting off with a 14-7 lead early on, but they cooled off in the second quarter, posting just seven points. Coming out of the half, the Lady Eagles heated back up with an 11-0 run over two-and-a-half minutes to take the lead. The Miners fought back, and they trailed by two heading into the final quarter. In that last frame, UTEP had a 6-0 run to turn their deficit into an advantage. Just as they came back, Kelsey Jones knocked the Miners lead to just two. The Lady Eagles fouled UTEP’s Gill with eight seconds to go, who went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe. Amber Landing got the rebound, put the ball in Shonte Hailes’ hands who then passed it off to Mayze for the victory bucket. It was a fight to the finish, with five ties and six lead changes recorded. In the end, the fate of the Miners was sealed by Alarie Mayze.
The Lady Eagles had previously had just one game decided by three points or less, were 0-6 when being out-rebounded by their opponent, and were 0-7 in games where the opponent led at the half.
Amber Landing had 11 points to her name against the Miners, a season-high for the redshirt junior and just one point shy of tying her career-high. She also had a season-high in rebounds with seven, leading the team for the second time this season and sixth in her career. She also tied her career-high in steals, field goals, and 3-pointers, as well as tied her season-high for both field goal and 3-point attempts. Landing was a major difference maker in the game for the Lady Eagles.
UTEP left the floor with the seventh home setback by four points or less on their home court, and still hadn’t seen a win in Don Haskins Center since November 14 earlier in the season. Although they dressed only seven players, the injury-plagued Miners were still a force to be reckoned with. UTEP out-rebounded the Lady Eagles 31 to 29, not an easy feat against the conference leaders in boards, and had 10 shots drop from the 3-point arc in comparison to Southern Miss’ four. However, USM converted the Miners’ 22 turnovers to 28 points and continued to be a power in the paint with 32 points.
Up Next The Lady Eagles return to their home roost of Reed Green Coliseum for two games, facing both LA Tech and UTSA for the second time. Southern Miss will see a bye on Thursday, then meet the Lady Techsters for a Saturday afternoon game on Feb. 23.