OXFORD, Miss. – Despite a double-double from junior forward Tia Faleru, who lead the Rebels with 21 points and 14 rebounds, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team fell to Florida, 81-60 on Sunday (Feb. 2) at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
Faleru, who’s 11 double-doubles, is the most for an Ole Miss player since the 2011-12 season, recorded her seventh game of 20 or more this season and her eighth career game with her 21 points. Diara Moore was the other Rebel in double-figures with 13 points on the afternoon. Valencia McFarland had a team-best five assists.
“We didn’t do very well offensively. There were a lot of things that went wrong in today’s game,” said head coach Matt Insell. “We didn’t get out in transition. They were sending three back in transition to slow us down. Other teams have done that too and didn’t slow us down, but it worked today.”
Trailing by just two at the halftime break, Florida used a 27-9 run to open the half to take a 20-point lead and never looked back.
Ole Miss (10-13, 1-8 SEC) showed a little bit of an offensive spark with seven minutes remaining in the game. With Florida holding a 20-point lead, the Rebels used a 6-0 spurt highlighted by baskets from Moore and Faleru to cut the lead to 14 points, 68-54, but that was as close as the Ole Miss would get the remainder of the contest.
“We base everything we do off energy and effort. We didn’t have either the energy or the effort we need to be successful. That’s why the games we’ve been in, we had high energy and effort. We’ll go back to practice on Tuesday and figure out why we didn’t have that.”
Ole Miss opened the game with a 7-0 run, punctuated by a triple from Valencia McFarland which forced the visitors to call a timeout. Florida (16-6, 6-3 SEC) responded and took a one-point lead, 15-14 behind a 15-7 run.
The Rebels went cold from the floor at that point with just two field goals over a seven-minute span which gave Florida a chance to extend its lead to nine points, 29-20, before the Rebels used an 11-2 run to close the half and pull within one possession at the break.
The Gators capitalized on Ole Miss miscues and scored 20 points off Ole Miss giveaways while scoring 46 points in the paint. The Rebels also left some points at the charity stripe, going 12-of-21 for the game.
Ole Miss will stay at home for its next game, welcoming the 10th-ranked Lady Vols to the Tad Smith Coliseum on Thursday (Feb. 6) for a televised contest .The Rebels and Lady Vols will tipoff at 8 p.m. on CSS. For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
Rebel Sidelines Valencia McFarland extends her scoring streak to 110 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 100 games … Valencia McFarland was held to single digits for the first time in the last six games. McFarland has 79 career games in double figures … Tia Faleru’s double-double is her 11th this season and leads the SEC … The Rebels move to 0-1 in games played on Super Bowl Sunday in the Matt Insell era … McFarland is 18 points away from her 1,500th career point, she will become one of seven players in program history to reach the mark.
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