HOUSTON, Tex. (Jan. 23) - The University of Houston women's basketball team overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half to defeat Conference USA National Division rival Southern Miss by a score of 86-76 in front of over 1,500 fans Sunday afternoon in Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Golden Eagles of USM actually led by as much 17 in the first half on the strength of 61 percent shooting and eight three-point baskets. In the second stanza however, Houston began to press and Southern Miss saw its shooting percentage drop almost in half while the Lady Cougars made the most of forcing ten second-half steals. The result was a 27-11 UH run for nine minutes early in the period, culminating with a 12-foot jumper by junior forward Monet Sykes to tie the game 61-61 at the 9:44 mark.
With the memory of letting a large lead at UAB slip away into defeat only just a week ago, Houston didn't let the momentum end this time. The Lady Cougars then went on a 18-3 run for the next six minutes to take a 79-64 lead with 3:43 left in the contest. Southern Miss twice managed to cut the margin to six points in the final minute, but UH hung on for its second largest win of the season to improve to 6-11 on the year and 3-4 in C-USA action.
Sykes poured in a career-high 21 points and equaled a career-high grabbing six rebounds. Sykes led four Lady Cougars scoring in double figures as Houston posted its highest point total in over a year. Junior center ShaRonda Lasseter added a season-high 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds to help stop a three-game losing streak.
Southern Miss was paced by the guard duo of Angela Atterberry and Angela Johnson, who led the Lady Golden Eagles with 28 and 20 points, respectively.
USM fell to 9-9 overall and 3-4 against the league. Houston will next be in action on the road in Chicago on Friday, January 28, with a C-USA game against DePaul. Tipoff will be at 7:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
Conference USA WBB Linescore Southern Miss 48 28 -- 76 Houston 34 52 -- 86