March 2, 2014
Box Score Press Conference Photo Gallery
Beyond the Boxscore: Seniors Shine in Overtime Win over Auburn
OXFORD, Miss. - Behind the strength of 27 points from Valencia McFarland, the Ole Miss women's basketball team closed out the regular-season with a 73-71 overtime victory over Auburn on Sunday afternoon. The win snapped Ole Miss’ nine-game losing streak and gave the Rebels their second SEC win.
Ole Miss (11-19, 2-14 SEC) opened the overtime with four straight points from senior Diara Moore to take a 71-69 which they extended to four points, with a pair of free throws from Valencia McFarland which sealed the Senior Day victory for the Rebels.
“I’m so proud of our team and the way they battled today,” said head coach Matt Insell. “We’ve been so close the last several games and today we were able to make all the right plays down the stretch. It’s a testament to the work our players have done and it was nice to send the seniors out with a victory."
McFarland led all-scorers with 27 points for her 25th game of 20 or more points this season. She was joined in double figures by fellow seniors Moore and Kenyotta Jenkins who each had 10 points. Danielle McCray added 13 points and a team-best nine rebounds, one shy of a double-double.
The game was a chess match from the outset with both teams making several runs. Ole Miss struck first jumping out to a 12-4 lead out of the gates, behind back-to-back three-pointers from Shequila Joseph and McFarland to open the game.
Auburn (16-13, 7-9 SEC) didn’t go away and tied the game at 13 behind a 9-1 run and from that point the score see-sawed back and forth with neither team taking more than a four-point lead until late in the half. The first half featured five ties but it was the home team that took a lead into the break. With the score tied at 23 with 5:37 left, Ole Miss used buckets from McCray and Bretta Hart to extend the Rebel lead. McFarland punctuated the half with a buzzer beater from Marshall Henderson range to give Ole Miss a 36-30 halftime lead.
Auburn opened the half on a 9-2 run to take its first lead of the game at the 17:16 mark of the second half but that was the only lead for the Tigers throughout the contest. Each time the Tigers tried to get close, Ole Miss punched back with either a defensive stop or a triple.
With Auburn leading, 46-45, McFarland scored seven unanswered points to push the Ole Miss lead to six points. Ole Miss would hold a 58-50 advantage with 9:48 left but Auburn clawed back into the game with a 7-0 run and forced overtime with a layup by Megan Tucker.
Ole Miss turns its attention to the postseason, as the Rebels head to the 2014 SEC Tournament this week in Duluth, Ga. Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed and will open tournament action on Wednesday (March 5) against Arkansas. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET). For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
Valencia McFarland extends her scoring streak to 116 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 107 games … Today’s game was the final home game for Ole miss seniors, Valencia McFarland, Kenyotta Jenkins and Diara Moore … Ole Miss snapped its eight-game losing streak … Ole Miss moves to 2-1 in overtime games in 2013-14 and 2-0 in OT games played at the Tad Pad.