LITTLE ROCK - Apparently
nines were wild in the finale of a six-game home stand for the Trojans.
UALR improved to 7-1 on the season thanks to four spurts of
nine points or more to defeat Southern Miss (4-3) 64-45 on Tuesday night at the
Jack Stephens Center.
While UALR lost the battle on the boards 44-41, it blew the
game open thanks to an 18-5 edge in second-chance points. The Trojans shot 40 percent
from the field (26-65) while holding the Golden Eagles to 28.3 percent (15-53).
In four contests this season, UALR has held opponents to 15
field goals or less.
Sophomore Taylor Gault led the Trojans with 17 points. Junior Taylor Fordadded 12 points while classmate Hannah Fohne matched a
career-best 11 boards. Ford and freshman Shanity Jamesboth dished out four assists, one more each than Southern Miss
recorded as a team (3).
Senior Janette Merriexadded 11 points, hitting four of five shots taken from inside the arc.
Jamie Faulkner led the visitors with 25 points while
Jerontay Clemons added 11 boards and eight points.
UALR used a trio of 9-0 runs in the first half to race out
to a 36-22 halftime lead. Tied at two, sophomore Kiera Clark hit a pair of layups followed by a Ford triple. Fohne
cleaned up a Ford missed shot and the Trojans led 11-2 with 15:16 left.
Southern Miss crawled back and tied the score at 16, thanks in part to a banked
three by Tanecka Carey, the only shot from downtown by the Golden Eagles.
With the score knotted at 16 with 8:10 left, Gault recorded
a jumper that ignited another nine unanswered and a 5+ minute scoring drought
for Southern Miss. Ford added her second triple of the half on as many attempts
and a pair from the line by Ford and Gault gave UALR its second nine-point lead
of the half at 25-16.
Southern Miss climbed back within four of the Trojans with
2:55 left, but a faked three and drive for a free throw line jumper by Merriex
ignited an 11-1 run over the final 2:43 of the half. On the ensuing defensive possession,
Ford stole the ball and found sophomore Ka'Nesheia Cobbins running down the court for the fast break lay-up. Gault added a
three from the left elbow to give UALR the 32-21 edge, the Trojans first
double-digit lead of the ballgame. Ford and Merriex tallied jumpers around a
split trip to the charity stripe by USM gave UALR the 14-point advantage at
The Golden Eagles threw up a 10-2 run to open the second
half to climb back within six before James added a lay-up right before the
under-16 media timeout. Out of the breather, Gault found Merriex on the left
elbow to push the lead to 42-32 with 15:05 left, a double-digit lead the
Trojans never relinquished. Gault then
added a jumper from James followed by a left baseline jumper by Fohne to force
a USM timeout with 13:41 remaining. The break did not slow the Trojans as
Merriex cleaned up a missed Southern Miss jumper and found Cobbins for the 10th
unanswered and a 48-32 lead with 13 minutes left.
UALR never led by less than 14 the rest of the way while it
pushed the lead to 20 on a nice up-and-under move by Merriex while being
fouled. She completed the old-fashioned three-point play as the Trojans led
55-35. UALR built a 21-advantage before a layup by USM's Faulkner gave UALR the
UALR looks for its best start in program history Friday
(Dec. 7) when it makes the short drive to Memphis. Tip time between the Trojans
and the Tigers is set for 7 p.m.