HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – A career night from center Kelsey Jones and the best defensive effort of the season was just what the University of Southern Mississippi women’s basketball team needed.
Jones scored a career-high 22 points and pulled down a season-best 13 rebounds as the Lady Eagles shut down Louisiana Tech University in the fourth quarter to take a 57-44 Conference USA victory Saturday evening at Reed Green Coliseum.
“Kelsey got a lot of buckets off of offensive rebounds and really crashed the boards,” head coach Joye Lee-McNelis said. “I think she was a difference maker. She was kind of like the beast inside. It was very positive for us and that’s why I think we were able to be successful.”
Tech’s 44 points were the fewest the Lady Eagles (6-6, 4-6 C-USA) had allowed an opponent this season and the fewest the Lady Techsters had scored since a 55-37 loss to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte on Jan. 30, 2020.
The Lady Techsters (10-5, 5-5) shot just 27.8 percent from the floor, and twice, failed to score more than seven points in a quarter, including just five points in the fourth quarter that started with USM clinging to a 40-39 lead.
Jalise Smallwood and Walker exchanged 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter before Kahia Warmsley and Rose Warren hit back-to-back treys to spark a 14-0 run that left the Lady Eagles ahead 57-42 with 1:48 to play.
Jalise Smallwood backed Jones with 12 points and three steals, while point guard Daishai Almond added 10 points and five assists. Warmsley grabbed a career-best eight rebounds.
USM remains at Reed Green Coliseum this weekend to face off with Rice University. The teams meet Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.
This content was originally published here.