Southern Mississippi used a 20-3 run late in the first half Monday on the way to handing the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears their third straight defeat, 71-60, at the Farris Center.

The Lady Eagles (7-2) trailed UCA (5-4) 28-17 with 6:48 left in the half when they upped the defensive intensity and powered for some inside basket to take a 37-31 lead at halftime.

Southern Miss shot 60 percent for the game, primarily as a result of a 46-14 advantage on points in the paint and 12-0 on fast break points.

The Sugar Bears pulled with 44-39 early in the second half before the Lady Eagles used a series of runs and capitalized on UCA to lead 62-47 with 4:54 left.

Terai Sadler led UCA with 16 points. Brianna Mullins had 12. Senior post Courtney Duever had five points on one-of-seven shooting.

Guard Markia Nix, seven of seven from the field, led The Lady Eagles with 16 points.

Earlier in the season, USM defeated Arkansas-Little Rock, 62-50.

The Sugar Bears continue their homestand Saturday with a 2 p.m. game against Arkansas State.