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Lee-McNelis leads USM to victory after being diagnosed with cancer



Joye Lee-McNeli (photo courtesy USM)

The University of Southern Mississippi women’s head basketball coach Joye Lee-McNelis showed up a week after being diagnosed with cancer and led the Lady Eagles to a 69-61 win over Mid-Tennessee State University Saturday.

McNelis announced the diagnosis to her team last week but it doesn’t seem to slow her down at all. She is still committed to leading the Golden Eagles.

“It’s a great win for us,” McNelis told USM reporters after the game. “I think it instills some belief that the hard work has paid off. We’ve had a lot of things go wrong for us, and thankfully something went right for us tonight.”

Daishai Almond led USM with 12 points and eight assists, while teammate Jamie’s Smallwood dropped an impressive 16 points.

USM now has a 3-5 record. They struggled earlier in the season but continue to improve under McNelis’s leadership.

McNelis and the Lady Eagles will be back in action Friday at home against the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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