Lady Eagles Drop Heartbreaker at UTEP

Published 8:53 am Monday, January 4, 2021

El Paso, Texas – Down two with five seconds left, the Southern Miss women’s basketball team had an opportunity to tie or take the lead, but an offensive foul on the Lady Eagles sealed a 74-72 win for UTEP (5-2, 2-0 C-USA) on Saturday at the Don Haskins Center.

The Black and Gold (2-2, 0-2 C-USA) found themselves down by as many as 14 points late in the third quarter, but closed the stanza on a 13-4 run to cut the Miner lead down to five at 59-54 going into the final frame.

Junior Daishai Almond tied the game at 66 with 4:16 left and a clutch jumper by freshman Brikayla Gray put the Lady Eagles on top at 68-66 for the first time since early in the first quarter.

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A 3-pointer by Destiny Thurman put the Miners back on top for good as the aforementioned charge took away the final chance the Golden Eagles had.

Offensively, the Black and Gold were led by Melyia Grayson who finished the game with 17 points, including nine in the third quarter, that were instrumental in the Lady Eagles comeback attempt.

In her first career start, Gray reached double figures for the second-straight game going 5-of-13 from the field for 10 points.

Seniors Jalise Smallwood and Allie Kennedy both chipped in 10 to give the Golden Eagles four different players in double figures for the first time this season.

The Lady Eagles scored a season-high 72 points going 30-of-55 (54.5 percent) from the field, but turnovers in the second quarter made the difference in the game as Southern Miss gave the ball away nine times during the quarter.

On the boards, the Golden Eagles were able to outrebound the Miners 32-24, once again led by Grayson, who finished with six.

The Miners were led offensively by Katia Gallegos who had 22 points in the game, while Dejanae Roebuck added 17 for UTEP.

Southern Miss will return to the friendly confines of Reed Green Coliseum next weekend as they continue Conference USA play against rival UAB on Jan. 8 and 9.