Ole Miss Falls To No. 13 Texas A&M

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Tia Faleru
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Tia Faleru
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 20, 2014

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Beyond The Boxscore: Losing Has to Hurt

OXFORD, Miss. - Tia Faleru picked up her 14th double-double of the year with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Valencia McFarland added 12 points, but the Ole Miss women's basketball team fell to No. 13/16 Texas A&M, 73-61, on Thursday (Feb. 20) at the annual Tickled Pink at the Tad Pad game. 

The Rebels  opened the second half with a strong defensive effort and were able to force Texas A&M (21-6, 11-2 SEC) to get out of rhythm which allowed Ole Miss to go on a 9-0 cutting the 14-point half time lead to five points, 38-33, at the 15:56 mark of the second half.

The Texas A&M lead hovered at around 10 points until midway through the half, when the Aggies used an 8-3 spurt, sparked by a three-point play from Courtney Walker to take a 17 point lead, which they wouldn’t relinquish the remainder of the contest.  Ole Miss (10-17, 1-12 SEC) was able to get it to 10 in the final minutes with baskets from Faleru and Kenyotta Jenkins, but it wasn’t enough as the Rebels dropped to 0-8 against ranked opponents.

Faleru led Ole Miss on the glass with 10 rebounds for her 15th game of double-figure rebounds while McFarland was an assist shy of her seventh double-double of the year. Danielle McCray was Ole Miss’ next leading scorer with nine points and five rebounds.

“The first half was the difference in the game,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell. “We played a little intimidated offensively in the first half. We got the same shots in the second half as the first, but we were intimidated by their size. They were a lot bigger than us. In the second half, we had a big run to start and played with a lot of fire. We’re preparing for a run in the SEC Tournament. We played one of the better teams in our league that’s ranked in the top 15 in the country. They made more plays than we did, but if we play the first half like the second half, it would have been a different game.”

Texas A&M got off to a quick start with a 6-2 run to open the game before a bucket from Faleru got the Rebels on the board at the 18:44 mark  Behind a three-point play from McFarland and some good moves to the basket from McCray, the Rebels were able to keep the A&M lead within two possessions until midway through the half.  With the visitors up, 22-15, they used a 16-9 run to close the half to take a 38-24 lead at the break.  

Gracie Frizzell had a great defensive first half and drew two charges which stopped some of the Texas A&M momentum. Although the Rebels played better on defense they couldn’t stop the Aggies who had two players in double figures in the first half.

The difference in the game was the first-half shooting. the Aggies shot 50.0 percent (15-of-30), while Ole Miss shot just 33.3 percent (10-of-30). The second half was a different story, as the Rebels outscored the Aggies, 37-25, in the second frame.

Ole Miss will hit the road for its next two games. The Rebels open their road swing at Mississippi State on Sunday at 2 p.m. Ole Miss will return to the Tad Pad for its final regular-season game vs. Auburn on Sunday, March 2. The Rebels will honor seniors Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore.   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 114 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 104 games … Tonight’s game was the annual “Tickled Pink at the Tad Pad” game for Ole Miss. Ole Miss partnered with Baptist Hospital for the event … The third graders from Lafayette’s Upper Elementary School donated over $600 through their piggy bank collections throughout the season … Ole Miss was taking on its second consecutive and fifth ranked opponent in the last seven outings; Ole Miss is 0-8 against ranked foes … Tonight’s game was Texas A&M’s first-ever visit to the Tad Smith Coliseum and Oxford … Tia Faleru picked up her 14th double-double of the season … Gracie Frizzell made her sixth start in tonight’s contest … Tia Faleru is 85 points way from her 1,000th point.

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