Ole Miss Closes Regular Season With Win Over Texas A&M

Feb. 26, 2017

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OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss women's basketball team picked up a win, when it needed it most with a 62-49 win over Texas A&M on Senior Day at the Pavilion at Ole Miss. The win ensured the Rebels the No. 10 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament, earning them a first-round bye. Ole Miss will take on No. 7 seed LSU on Thursday at 6 pm.

In a day that belonged to the seniors, the quartet of Bretta Hart (Poplarville, Miss.), Shequila Joseph (London, England), Taylor Manuel (St. Louis, Mo.) and Erika Sisk (Oxford, Miss.) combined for 32 of Ole Miss' 62 points to lead the Rebels to their first win over Texas A&M in the last five tries.

Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) - the newest member of the 1,000 point club - led the team in scoring with 13 points for her fourth straight game in double figures while adding a team-best seven rebounds. Joseph and Manuel were also in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Joseph also added seven boards.

The Rebels kept their third quarter momentum and pulled ahead 42-36 on a crucial triple from Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) forcing Texas A&M to call a timeout. Shequila Joseph (London, England) got in on the three-pointer action with one at the 7:35 mark, to put Ole Miss up nine points, 45-36, with 7:02 remaining. Sessom scored her 1,000-point at the 5:19 mark of the half to give Ole Miss' its largest lead 49-36 just prior to the final media timeout.

Ole Miss wouldn't relinquish its double digit lead the remainder of the contest and held the Aggies to their lowest point total against an SEC foe en route to its 17th win of the season and a 15-3 record at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.

The Aggies opened the third quarter and scored four quick points to take a 24-23 lead, their first lead since the 8:00 mark of the first quarter. With the Aggies leading by five points, 28-23, Ole Miss used a 5-0 spurt sparked by a triple from Alissa Alston (New Haven, Conn.) and a layup from Sisk to tie the game just before the third quarter media timeout and from that point the teams matched each other bucket-for-bucket before a trey from Sisk - her 13th of the season - put the lead back with the Rebels, 37-32 heading into the final quarter.

Anriel Howard snapped a nearly three minute scoring drought with a free throw at the 7:02 mark of the second quarter but Ole Miss' defense proved to be troublesome for the Aggies who had nine first half turnovers leading to nine points for the Rebels. The Aggies were able to cur into Ole Miss' once 10-point lead with five points early in the second quarter but Ole Miss was still ahead 21-14 at the second quarter media timeout and took a 23-20 lead into halftime  

Ole Miss opened the game strong with two triples from Joseph - two of Ole Miss' three triples in the first five minutes of play - as the Rebels took an 11-7 lead at the first media timeout. Neither team was lighting up the nets in the first quarter, but Ole Miss pulled ahead 15-9 thanks to a 6-0 run while holding the Aggies scoreless for a span of 2:19 while taking a 19-9 lead into the second frame. 

From The Head Coach
On the win...
"What a great win by our basketball team. We were down coming back from Columbia on Thursday night, but I told them after the game, `Let's leave it here, and let's go play.' Great win over a really good team in Texas A&M. I couldn't be more proud of our kids. Great group of seniors. We've been through a lot with them. Bretta and Shaq and Erika have been here for three or four years, then Taylor Manuel came in for a year, so it's good and rewarding for them. I couldn't be more proud of our basketball team and how they played."  

On what worked well today...
"We got the ball inside. That was our biggest thing. Taylor missed a lot of shots early, but she just kept playing. We just kept going inside and got them in foul trouble, then we picked up the pace there in the third quarter. I got tired of them trying to lull us to sleep. We said, `Let's go." Couldn't be more proud of our basketball team." 

Rebel Sidelines
- Today was Senior Day and the Rebels celebrated seniors Bretta Hart, Erika Sisk, Shequila Joseph and Taylor Manuel along with head manager Jalen Powell and graduate manager Brett Ball.

-After today's win, Ole Miss snaps a five game win streak for the Aggies and earn their first win over Texas A&M in the Insell era.

-Ole Miss moves to a perfect 3-0 in Senior Day games in the Insell era. Ole Miss didn't have any seniors on 2015-16.

-At the 5:19 mark of the third quarter, Shandricka Sessom scored her 1,000th career point to become the 28th 1,000-point scorer in program history. She is the first to do it as a junior since Valencia McFarland in 2012-13.

-Shandricka Sessom was in double figures for the fourth straight game and the 23rd time this season with 13 points. 

Up Next
Ole Miss will be the No. 10 seed for next week's SEC Tournament. The Rebels will open tournament action against No. 7 seed LSU on Thursday at 6:00 ET

Next Game
March 2 - vs. No. 7 LSU (at SEC Tournament)                          6 PM ET 

Keep Up With the Rebels
Keep up to date with the Ole Miss women's basketball team throughout the season on social media. For all Ole Miss women's basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB on Instagram at Ole MissWBB and on Snapchat with the handle @OleMissWBB. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women's basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.






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