Ole Miss Drops Hard Fought Contest To Tennessee

Tia Faleru

Feb. 6, 2014

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Beyond The Boxscore: Simmons Turns Game In Favor of Lady Vols

OXFORD, Miss. – Junior forward Tia Faleru recorded her SEC leading, 12th double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but the Ole Miss women’s basketball team dropped a 77-65 contest at the hands of No. 8 Tennessee on Thursday (Feb. 6) night.

The game was much closer than the final score indicated as Ole Miss (10-14, 1-9 SEC) kept the visiting Lady Vols (19-4, 8-2 SEC) within two possessions midway through the half, but three straight triples from Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons pushed the game open in favor of the Lady Vols.

“We were better on the boards tonight,” said head coach Matt Insell.” If you take out a four-minute span where they got going on the boards, it’s a different ballgame. We didn’t rebound during that span in the second half and lost Simmons three times which allowed her to get threes. I liked the effort. If you can put that effort together now, we have to have that same effort every night.”

Faleru lead the way with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. Valencia McFarland added her fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 assists.  Also in double figures for the Rebels were Danielle McCray with 10 points and Gracie Frizzell with 15 points, 12 of those points coming from beyond the arc.

Ole Miss came out strong in the second half and scored the first bucket of the half, cutting the Tennessee lead to seven points out of the gate and forcing Tennessee to call a timeout just 30 seconds into the half.

Out of the timeout, Ole Miss responded with a bucket to keep the game within two possessions. The teams went back-and-forth, answering each other bucket-for-bucket for the majority of the half before Simmons got the hot hand, with her three consecutive triples to open the game for the visitors as they took a 63-48 lead at the 8:48 mark a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the contest.

Faleru and Frizzell sparked the Rebels in the second half. Faleru had 17 second-half points en route to her second consecutive game of 20 or more while Frizzell knocked down two threes in the second half and had nine points in the second frame.

Both teams opened the game strong, but it took both squads some time to settle in as a pair of free throws were the only scores in the first two minutes of the game.

The Ole Miss defense was on point to begin with and Shequila Joseph nailed the first field goal for either team at the 16:59 mark.  McFarland, who was held to a season-low six points in her last outing, had five early points to keep the Rebels in the hunt.

With the Lady Vols leading 10-9 at the 13:21 mark of the half, the Lady Vols used a 7-0 run to pull ahead 17-9, but a bucket from Faleru out of a media timeout ended the Tennessee run. That bucket sparked the Rebels, especially Frizzell who knocked down two triples including one to give the Rebels a 19-17 lead, forcing a Tennessee timeout.

After taking the lead, the visitors used an 18-4 run to pull ahead, 37-23. The Rebels closed the half with a bucket from Monique Jackson and a three-point play from McFarland to pull within single digits, 37-28, at halftime.

The Rebels hit the road for a two-game road swing beginning on Sunday (Feb. 9) when they travel to Georgia for an afternoon contest with the Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT) at Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum. Ole Miss returns home on Thursday (Feb. 20) for the annual “Tickled Pink at the Tad Pad” game vs. Texas A&M.   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 111 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 101 games … McFarland is now eight points from becoming the 7th player in program history with 1500 career points … This is the first time since the 2010-11 season that Ole Miss and Tennessee have played twice … Gracie Frizzell made her fifth start this season, starting in place of Diara Moore. Prior to tonight’s contest, Moore had started in 22 of Ole Miss 23 games … For the third time the Rebels has two double-doubles with McFarland and Faleru recording double-doubles.

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