HATTIESBURG, Miss. – WKU rallied from a double-digit deficit in each half and
briefly took the lead at the end of the third quarter, but a strong fourth quarter
from Southern Miss dealt the Lady Toppers a 69-63 setback inside Reed Green Coliseum
on Thursday evening.
The Lady Toppers (21-7, 12-3 C-USA) fought back from a 12-point deficit in the
second quarter to tie the game and from a 13-point hole in the third quarter to take
the lead, but were outscored 22-14 over the final 10 minutes by the Golden Eagles
(15-13, 7-8 C-USA).
Ivy Brown led all scorers with 20 points and had a team-high 13 rebounds for her
15th double-double of the season; 18 of Brown’s points came during the second half.
Raneem Elgedawy added 17 points and pulled down six rebounds, and Tashia Brown
chipped in 14 points to round out the trio in double figures.
For Southern Miss, Shonte Hailes led the way with 17 points and was one of four
Golden Eagles in double figures alongside Alarie Mayze (13), Amber Landing (11) and
Jayla King. King also added 13 rebounds to finish with a double-double on the night.
Southern Miss jumped out to an early lead over the Lady Toppers, scoring the first
six points of the night, including back-to-back baskets from Landing. WKU briefly
cut the lead back to four points before another quick burst from the Golden Eagles
left the Lady Toppers facing a double-digit first-quarter deficit, down 11 points
with 2:51 on the clock.
WKU remained down by double digits until a strong run spanning just over six minutes
in the second quarter. Trailing by 12, 26-14, at the 9:42 mark, WKU used the
strength of a 13-2 run to battle its way back into the game. Four different Lady
Toppers scored during the stretch, and Tashia Brown’s three-point play with 3:29
remaining cut the deficit to just one point, 28-27.
Two free throws from Elgedawy briefly tied the game at 30-30, but a three-pointer
from Southern Miss’ Mayze just before the buzzer sent the Lady Toppers into the
halftime break facing a 33-30 deficit.
Despite the momentum that the Lady Toppers gained with their comeback in the second
quarter, Southern Miss opened the third quarter on an 11-1 run over the first three
minutes of the frame. Six different Golden Eagles notched at least one point during
the run, and Megan Brown’s three-pointer at 6:51 put the Lady Toppers down 13
Much like it did in the second quarter, however, WKU staged another dramatic
comeback. The Lady Toppers scored 18 of the final 21 points of the frame, including
11 points from Ivy Brown, and her triple with less than 10 seconds remaining gave
the Lady Toppers their first lead of the night, 49-47, heading into the final 10
minutes of play.
Southern Miss scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to retake the
lead, and despite a strong push down the stretch, the Lady Toppers were unable to
get back out in front. WKU closed the gap to four points on several different
occasions, but could not cut it back to a one-possession game in the 69-63 setback.
WKU will close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. (CT) as the
Lady Toppers make the long trek west to UTEP. The Lady Toppers are 2-1 against the
Miners since joining C-USA, including a 71-54 victory in El Paso last season.
Following Saturday’s battle, WKU will have either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in next
week’s C-USA Tournament in Frisco, Texas, at The Ford Center at The Star.
How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper
Basketball, visit WKUSports.com or follow the program via social media
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