By: Malcolm Butler/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON, La. – Respect Leaphart scored a game-high 22 points to lead Southern Miss to a 63-61 win over Louisiana Tech Thursday night at the Thomas Assembly Center.
Tech (12-13, 4-10 C-USA) shot just 33 percent (19-57) from the field in the game, including just 7-of-29 from the three-point line. Southern Miss (14-11, 6-8) shot 50 percent (26-52) for the night.
“I thought it was about the defensive end of the floor and us not getting stops,” said Tech head coach Brooke Stoehr. “They came out of the halftime locker room and used a 12-0 run to kind of take control. I know we fought back and tied it, but we just didn’t get enough stops and when we did they got offensive rebounds.”
Tech led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter and 33-28 at the half but Southern Miss opened the third quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 40-33 lead. Much of the Golden Eagles damage was done inside by Leaphart and Kelsey Jones.
Trailing 59-53 with just under five minutes to play, Tech used a 6-0 run to tie the game at 59-59 on a pair of Grayson Bright free throws with 1:40 to play. However, Jones hit a layup on USM’s next possession to regive the Golden Eagles the lead.
Tech had two chances with 10 seconds to play but both shots were off the mark and Southern Miss picked up the win.
Raizel Guinto led Tech with 14 points and Kieunna Walker added 12 points.