March 6, 2014
Quotes Box Score
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: Seniors Lay The Foundation
DULUTH, Ga. – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team had an 11-point lead in the first half, but couldn’t find a way to score late in the game in a 70-54 loss to Auburn in second round action at the 2014 SEC Tournament on Thursday (March 6).
Ole Miss was led by senior point guard Valencia McFarland who had 23 points, scoring 20 of them in the first half. Shequila Joseph added eight points, while Danielle McCray led the rebounding efforts with seven rebounds.
The second half started much like the first half ended as both teams came out hungry and battling for everything. Defense was the name of the game for both teams in the half as tight defensive possessions kept the score knotted at 44 for nearly five minutes at the outset of the half.
Neither team took more than a four-point lead until midway through the second half, but Auburn started to pull away with 7:56 left in the contest. With the Tigers leading 54-52, they closed the game on a 16-2 run sealing a spot in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Ole Miss struggled in the paint scoring just eight points in the paint to Auburn’s 28 points. The Tigers also won the battle of the boards, 49-32.
The first two buckets of the game were triples from McCray and McFarland which allowed the defense to get set early, but the Tigers brought the press and went inside and took a 13-10 lead at the first media timeout.
The Rebels got hot after the first media timeout, behind the sharpshooting of McFarland, who rattled off 12 points, including two triples, as Ole Miss went on a 10-2 run and took a 23-15 lead at the 11:28 mark. The Rebels extended the lead to 28-17 with a pair at the charity stripe from McCray.
Auburn cut back into the lead with a 9-0 run before Ole Miss went to work. The teams matched each other bucket-for bucket down the stretch and it was Auburn that took a 38-37 lead into halftime after a late triple from Kady Dieng.
Ole Miss shot 41.2 percent from the three-point line in the first half with McFarland hitting four of her five first-half field goals from long range.
The Rebels conclude the season with a 12-20 record under the direction of first year head coach Matt Insell. Ole Miss’ season saw the Rebels win seven consecutive games and saw senior Valencia McFarland become one of seven players to record 1,500 career points. She concludes her career as the No. 6 scorer all-time at Ole Miss.
Valencia McFarland extends her scoring streak to 118 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 109 games … -Ole Miss and Auburn are facing each other for the second time in the last four days. Ole Miss took a 73-71 win over the Tigers in Oxford on Sunday (March 2) … This was the ninth meeting between the teams in the SEC Tournament. The teams last met in the 2009 Tournament, also in the second round, with Auburn winning 71-65 … Junior forward Tia Faleru missed the first meeting with the Tigers, sitting out with concussion-like symptoms. Faleru is an Ozark, Ala. native, joining teammate, Monique Jackson who also hails from Phenix City, Ala. … McFarland concludes her career as the No. 6 scorer all-time at Ole Miss with 1,655 career points … McFarland’s 201 assists this season ranks third on Ole Miss’ single-season list.