Strong Second Half Leads Ole Miss Past Sam Houston State

Nikki Byrd

Nov. 13, 2010

Final Stats

OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss women's basketball team came alive in the second half as the Rebels posted a 69-60 win over Sam Houston State in the final game of the Inn at Ole Miss Classic. With the win, Ole Miss improved to 2-0 while Sam Houston State fell to 1-1.

Valencia McFarland led four Ole Miss players in double figures as she ended the game with 18 points. Kayla Melson scored 15 and added 12 boards while Nikki Byrd scored 11 and Courtney Marbra added 10.

Ole Miss cut Sam Houston State's early lead to 12-10 on a jumper by Marbra with 12:02 left to play. The Bearkats pushed their lead up to six, 16-10, with just under 10 minutes to play in the half.

McFaland tied the game at 23-23 on a coast-to-coast layup with 5:39 left in the half. Shae Nelson gave Ole Miss its first lead of the game, 28-27, on a three pointer with 2:33 remaining in the half.

Sam Houston State hit a three with under 15 seconds remaining to tie the game at 32-32 at halftime.

Byrd led Ole Miss at the half with nine points. Byrd, Melson and LaTosha Laws each had four boards at the half.

The Rebels shot 38.9 percent (14-of-36) from the floor in the first half while the Bearkats shot 44.4 percent (12-of-27).

Marbra's jumper with 14:48 left in the game put Ole Miss on top 40-38. McFarland hit a three to put the Rebels up five, 43-38, with 13:41 remaining.

The Rebels went on a 9-0 run capped by a three pointer from McFarland as Ole Miss went up 57-47 with 6:56 to play. Sam Houston State cut the lead to six with 2:36 to play but the Rebels used solid play down the stretch to post the 69-60 win.

"It's a win," head coach Renee Ladner said.  "It's a championship for a new team.  We had some outstanding individual performances this weekend.  Valencia McFarland played 79 minutes and had three turnovers.  Kayla Melson's energy late today was the difference."


All-Tournament Team
Bailie Roberts, SEMO
Chanice Smith, SHSU
Sequeena Thomas, SHSU
Nikki Byrd, Ole Miss
MVP: Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss

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