March 6, 2009
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NEW ORLEANS -
Stephanie Helgeson scored a game-high 20 points and Andrea Barber was close behind with a career-best 19 as third-seeded Southern Miss defeated host and No. 6 seed Tulane, 72-55, in the 2009 Conference USA Women's Basketball Quarterfinals Friday evening in Fogelman Arena.
Southern Miss 72, Tulane 55
Southern Miss led for most of the first half and went into the locker room at half time on top, 34-30. The Green Wave rallied early in the second half to take the lead at 40-38 less than five minutes in and held a five-point advantage. From there, however, the Golden Eagles went on a 20-2 run over the next eight-plus minutes and never looked back.
With the victory, Southern Miss improves to 19-11 on the year and advances to take on the winner of Friday night's Marshall/UTEP game in the C-USA Semifinals on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Tulane, meanwhile, concludes its 2008-09 season at 18-14.
Helgeson and Barber were two of three Golden Eagle players to finish with double-digit scoring totals as Pauline Love tallied 15 on 7-of-14 shoting. Love paced Southern Miss with nine rebounds and Barber had a game-high nine assists.
Brittany Lindsey and Indira Kaljo led Tulane in scoring with 16 and 12 points, respectively, and Lindsey posted the game's lone double-double with 11 rebounds to go along with her point total. Ashley Langford paces the Wave with seven assists.
The Golden Eagles scored the first four points of the ballgame and soared out to a 12-point lead at 24-12 with 10:04 left to play in the opening stanza. Tulane chipped away at the deficit and made it a four-point affair going into the break when Ashley Langford hit one-of-two free throws with 28 seconds on the clock before halftime.
The Green Wave scored 11 of the first 14 points of the second half, but the Southern Miss defense clamped down from there to limit Tulane to just five field goals in 19 attempts the rest of the way. The Golden Eagles claimed the lead for good when Helgeson converted a layup with 13:33 remaining in regulation to make it 42-41 and Southern Miss cruised to the lopsided victory.