USM wins at home against Rice


Hattiesburg, Miss. - Southern Miss faced Rice Saturday night and the Lady Eagles wanted to showcase that war mentality they've been carrying all week against the Owls.

Guard, Brittanny Dinkins said, "You're going to play how you practice and if we can push through and get it done in practice, we can do it in the game. We're short of people. But it demands more of us. We’re a team that likes to step up and take a challenge."

This game started off tightly-contested. Both the Lady Eagles and the Owls were going back-and-forth with each other.

Owls point guard, Maya Hawkins, was leading the way for her team in the first half, scoring seven points and dishing out five assists.

But the Lady Eagles had some help in the first half from Jayla King, who netted-in 11 points, with nine of her points being from beyond the arc.

Dinkins said "with us being a small team, it's little error. Everything gets exposed, so it's very important for us to be on point and for people to step up and score the ball when they get the ball."

In the second half, more players started to step up. One player in particular, Brittny Norris, who scored three threes’ in a row in a span of just 90 seconds.

Guard, Brittny Norris said, "We needed a spark off the bench. We just needed someone to come in and up the tempo and everything. That was most of my job, just to shoot the ball and get our team going."

Another player who stepped up for the Lady Eagles was Caitlin Jenkins. Jenkins was a force to be reckon with down low, as she nearly had another double-double with her 16 points and nine rebounds performance.

Center, Caitlin Jenkins said, "When B [Brittny] got in, she hit the back-to-back three's, so I kind of got a little hyped. So I was like okay it's my turn. I got to help her, I got to back her up you know? So I came in and that was my goal, to give all I can so we could win."

But the Owls were still in it until the last five minutes of the game when the Lady Eagles went on a 14-7 run to beat the Owls 68-62.

Head coach, Joye Lee-McNelis said, "I think it's definitely steps in the right direction. I truly believe the true test will be when we're at UAB on Thursday. We would be able to truly measure how far we've come."

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