Ole Miss Drops OT Contest to Mississippi State

Ole Miss Guard Valencia McFarland

Ole Miss Guard Valencia McFarland

Feb. 23, 2014

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STARKVILLE, Miss. - Valencia McFarland had a career-best 29 points and Tia Faleru added 19 points and 14 rebounds, but the Ole Miss women's basketball team dropped a 70-72 overtime road contest to Mississippi State on Sunday (Feb. 23).

Trailing by two with 2:53 left in overtime, Ole Miss (10-18, 1-13 SEC) had two clean looks to tie the game. Diara Moore had a layup fall just off the rim with 43 seconds left and with Gracie Frizzell had a good look at a triple, which would have sealed the game for the Rebels but it fell just short.

McFarland's 29 points led all scorers. Faleru, who recorded her 15th double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds, was the other Rebel in double-figures. Shequila Joseph added eight points.

The second half was a game of runs. The Bulldogs, down by 13 points used a 15-5 run to cut the Ole Miss lead to one possession, 59-57, with 6:50 remaining. In the final three minutes of the regulation, both teams had a chance to win, including a look at a jumper from McFarland with two seconds left that fell short sending the rivalry game to overtime for the second time this season.

Ole Miss opened the second half much like it started the game and maintained that lead thanks to the play of McFarland and Faleru. With Mississippi State trying to cut into the Rebel lead, McFarland drained her fourth triple of the game, giving Ole Miss a 53-42 lead - the largest lead of the game for the Rebels - which forced the home team to call a timeout.

MSU made things interesting and with a 6-0 spurt cut the lead to five points, but Ole Miss went to Faleru in the paint for a bucket pushing the lead to 59-53 at the 7:39 mark, matching the Bulldogs bucket for bucket.

Ole Miss opened the game with a great start, scoring the first bucket of the game. Behind the strength of two triples from Joseph, Ole Miss took a 13-6 lead at the 15:20 mark forcing a Bulldog timeout.  Out of the break, the Rebels continued their strong play on the defensive end, forcing Mississippi State into a rushed look on the other end which fell short, giving the ball back to the Rebels. The home team used 11-5 run to cut the Ole Miss lead to 18-17 at the under 12 minute timeout, behind nine points from Martha Alwal.

The Rebels weren't discouraged and out of the under 12 media, used an 8-1 run, highlighted by a triple from Frizzell to pull ahead, 26-18, at the 7:48 mark. MSU uses back-to-back triples to get themselves back in the game, but McFarland silenced the crowd with a triple of her own, keeping the lead at six points for the Rebels.

Ole Miss took a 42-35 halftime lead thanks to buckets from McFarland and Faleru to close the half. The Rebels were on fire from three-point land, shooting 77.8 percent (7-of-9). McFarland led the way with three first half triples, while Frizzell and Joseph each added a pair.

Ole Miss will stay on the road as the Rebels travel to Missouri on Thursday (Feb. 27). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Missouri's Mizzou Arena. The game will be televised on Fox Sports - Midwest and can be seen on SportsSouth locally. Ole Miss returns 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 105 games ... Ole Miss and Mississippi State squared off exactly one month to the date in their first meeting. Ole Miss won that meeting, 87-85, in overtime in Oxford ... Ole Miss signee, Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) was in attendance for this afternoon's contest ... Gracie Frizzell in the starting lineup for the second straight game and the eighth time this season ... This was the first time in the 87 meetings between the two teams that both regular season meetings went to overtime ... Tia Faleru recorded her 15th double-double ... Valencia McFarland has topped 20 points in 11 games this season and 24 during her career .. McFarland's five triples are a new season-high and one short of her career-best. 

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