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|Jones leads USA past ULM|
With her mother, former high school coach Lisa Abron and members of the Ferriday High basketball team looking on, South Alabama senior Monique Jones led her team to a hard-fought 61-51 win over Louisiana-Monroe Saturday at Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe.
"It was an amazing night," said Jones, who scored 17 points in the win which improved her Lady Jaguar team to 15-7 overall and 6-5 in Sun Belt Conference play. "It was very special playing in front of my mom and having my high school coach see how much I've developed as a player. It was a great night. But even if I would not have had a big game and we would have won it would have been great."
Jones led all scorers on the night, recording 12 of her game-high 17 points in the second half.
Louisiana-Monroe opened the second period of play with seven unanswered points in the first minute and a half to take a 28-24 lead on an Ashley Wallis bucket at the 18:38 mark. Jones ended the ULM run with an offensive putback on USA's next trip down the floor. Over the next several minutes the two clubs went back-and-forth exchanging the lead nine times.
With ULM leading 41-38 after a Regena Jackson bucket at the 11:25 mark of the second half, Jones's jumper at the 9:50 mark ignited an 11-0 Jaguar run over the next two and a half minutes to put USA out in front for good.
"The team and coach look for me to make big plays and I do what I can to make that happen," Jones said.
The win was just as sweet for Jones, who signed with Baylor out of Ferriday High before transferring to South Alabama her junior year.
ULM did not recruit Jones, who helped lead Ferriday High to a career record of 115-22 and a career district record of 32-2 which included three undefeated seasons.
She earned McDonald's All-American honorable mention in 2003 and Street and Smith All-American honorable mention in 2002 and was named to the Class 2A All-State first team three times.
"I didn't really think about that until after the game," Jones said of not being recruited by ULM. "I just went out and played. I'm sure ULM saw I had some talent."
Jones, who leads the team with 10.5 points a game and is hitting 40 percent of her 3-pointers in conference play, has battled a calf and Achille's heel injury most of the season.
"I just wrap it up in tape and keep trucking," she said.
South Alabama's Monique Jones' career-high 26 points helped snap a four-game home skid Wednesday evening as the Lady Jag basketball team picked up a 76-65 Sun Belt Conference victory over Louisiana-Lafayette at the Mitchell Center.
Jones had a career high 26 points in a win over Louisiana-Lafayette last month.
"That was really a break-through game for me," she said. "I did not know it was a career high until after the game."
Jones is now 4-0 this season against Louisiana teams.
"It seems like I always play well against state schools," she said. "I just go out and play hard each time to try and get my team a win."
South Alabama returns home to take on Arkansas State today (Wednesday). With the loss, the Warhawks fall to 13-8 overall and 6-4 in Sun Belt action.
"We're just trying to stay focused and put ourselves in position to compete in the conference tournament," Jones said.
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