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Women’s basketball knocks off Southern Miss on senior day

Women’s basketball knocks off Southern Miss on senior day

Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the basket for a layup against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Women’s basketball knocks off Southern Miss on senior day
February 27
16:36 2016

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

In the first meeting against the University Southern Mississippi this season, Mean Green women’s basketball had one of its worst offensive performances of the season in a 57-38 loss. This time around, the Mean Green (10-16, 5-11) was able to weather the storm of an up-and-down game on the way to a 57-55 win over the Lady Eagles (14-13, 7-9).

A late fourth quarter comeback was sealed by a buzzer-beating jump shot from senior forward Acheil Tac, who closed out her final appearance at the Super Pit with 14 points and five rebounds on senior day.

In what was a roller coaster of a game, the Mean Green trailed for the majority of the first quarter, led for most of the second and third quarter, but trailed for much of the fourth. The lead was regained on a three-point field goal from junior guard Terra Ellison with less than two minutes remaining, but Southern Miss tied the game with just four seconds left.

That shot led to a timeout by head coach Jalie Mitchell, who set up a pass from junior guard Kelsey Criner to Tac that resulted in the game-winning basket from the middle of the paint.

Junior guard Candice Adams (14) passes to the baseline for an assist against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Junior guard Candice Adams (14) passes to the baseline for an assist against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

After getting off to a slow start in the first quarter due to what looked like a stagnant offense, the Mean Green bounced back with several runs late in the first quarter and throughout the second quarter that helped the team grab its first lead of the game.

The first offensive life of the game for the Mean Green was sparked by junior guard Candice Adams. The sharp shooter knocked down back-to-back three-point field goals to cut the Southern Miss lead to just one in the first quarter. Southern Miss then adjusted to a zone defense that junior point guard Kelsey Criner and the Mean Green offense were able to penetrate and pick apart in the second quarter.

Criner and Tac combined for 16 first half points to help the Mean Green grab a 28-25 lead going into halftime, but the game remained close through the second half. The Mean Green defense, which both Mitchell and the team said would be key late in the season, stepped up to force several shot clock violations that created turnovers in the second half.

The Mean Green was led by Criner with 18 points and 6 rebounds, Tac with 14 points and 5 rebounds, Ellison with 12 points and six rebounds and Adams with nine points.

The Mean Green will finish out the regular season with two games next week, the first coming on the road against Old Dominion University on March 3. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m.

Featured Image: Junior guard Kelsey Criner (3) drives the basket for a layup against Southern Mississippi University. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

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