Tashia Brown scored 17 points and Kendall Noble added 15 to lead top-seeded Western Kentucky to a 67-56 victory over Southern Miss in Saturday’s Conference USA women’s tournament championship game.
The Lady Toppers (27-6) won their second C-USA tournament title in three years and ride a 12-game win streak into the NCAA Tournament after claiming the automatic bid.
Southern Miss (23-10) couldn’t mount a second straight fourth-quarter comeback despite a 25-point game from Brittanny Dinkins. The Lady Eagles had wiped out a 43-37 deficit in the final quarter against Middle Tennessee in the semifinals, when Dinkins scored seven points in the final two minutes.
Southern Miss trailed by 12 points going into the fourth this time and scored the first two baskets, but couldn’t mount a real threat.
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Dinkins made 9 of 14 shots, including five 3-pointers, but the Lady Eagles never led.
Southern Miss also lost to Western Kentucky 60-57 in the 2015 league title game.