Southern Miss Tops Rice, 65-54
Jan. 22, 2015
HATTIESBURG, MS - The Rice Owls women's basketball team dropped their fifth consecutive conference game Thursday evening, falling 65-54 to Southern Miss at Reed Green Coliseum.
Rice (6-11, 1-5) was undone by a 17-0 second half run by the Lady Eagles, falling behind by as much as 51-32 with a little under 10 minutes remaining. The Owls closed strong with inspired play from their bench and cut the deficit to 56-48 with 3:35 remaining, but USM stymied the run.
Jasmine Goodwine, Maya Hawkins and Megan Shafer all scored nine points apiece to lead the Owls in scoring while Christal Porter led the team with nine rebounds. Shafer's nine points, a season-high, came in just 13 minutes off the bench during the Owls' late run.
"We started both halves pretty well, but we gave them too many easy baskets, particularly in the first half, and they outscored us 20-8 points in the paint and were beating us down the floor. We got down as many as 19 points and cut it to eight with mostly our bench. I was very proud of Megan Shafer, she had her best game of the year, as did Elena Gumbs. Those two stood out tonight."
Southern Miss (11-6, 4-2) had four players score in double-figures, led by 16 points from Jerontay Clemons. Tamara Jones and Brittany Dinkins each chipped in 12 points while Brooke Rhodes scored 11. Clemons came up just shy of a triple-double, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out eight assists.
USM outshot Rice 42 percent-32 percent and outscored Rice 28-16 in points in the paint. Although Rice made a season-high seven three-pointers, the Lady Eagles match with seven long distance makes of their own.
Hawkins kept the Owls afloat in the early stages of the first half, scoring nine points on three made three-point field goal attempts, including one at the 11:22 mark to give Rice an 18-16 lead. However, Southern Miss outscored Rice 18-8 the remainder of the half and the Owls went just 3-of-13 from the field the final 11 minutes with eight turnovers.
USM was led in the first half by Clemons and Jones, each scoring nine points apiece. The Lady Eagles shot 48 percent from the field opposed to just 30 by the Owls. USM also held a 20-8 advantage in points the paint.
Rice came out of halftime and immediately cut the deficit to 34-32 thanks to a 6-0 run but the Lady Eagles were able to silence the run with a 17-0 spurt of their own to take control of the game.
The Owls will next travel to Ruston, La. to face the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters Saturday at 6 p.m.