OXFORD, Miss. - Led by three players in double figures, the Ole Miss women's basketball team beat Northwestern State, 67-51, Friday morning in the annual Kid's Day Game.
In front of the ninth-largest crowd in school history, 3,866 fans, Ole Miss improved to 2-0 while Northwestern State fell to 2-1.
With the win, acting head coach Brett Frank becomes just the second head coach in Ole Miss women's basketball history to win his first two games with the Rebels. Van Chancellor opened his first season 7-0.
Diara Moore and Tia Faleru each scored 13 points for Ole Miss while Valencia McFarland added 12 points, five steals and three assists. The 13 points tied Faleru's career high while McFarland has now recorded 44 career double-figure scoring games.
"I thought we came out flat a little early and didn't have much energy to us," acting head coach Brett Frank said. "Fortunately, we turned the corner in the middle of the first half and went on a run. That was all the girls with picking up their energy and pressuring the ball more aggressively."
After a 2-0 start to the game for Ole Miss, NSU responded with a 9-2 run and pushed its lead to seven, 16-9, with 10:27 left to play. The Rebels battled back and retook the lead, 22-21, on a three-pointer from Moore.
Ole Miss used a 13-3 run over the last 3:55 of the half to extend its lead to 35-24 at the half. Moore (11 points, three steals and two assists) and McFarland (10 points, two steals) led the Rebels at the break. As a team, the Rebels shot 54.2 percent from the floor in the half (13-24) while the Lady Demons shot 50.0 percent (10-20).
In the second half, a three-point play from Monique Jackson pushed Ole Miss' lead to 18, 44-26, with 15:11 remaining in the game. The Lady Demons cut the Rebels' lead to 11, 44-33, with 12:34 to play but Ole Miss pushed its lead back up to 16, 53-37, after a basket from Gracie Frizzell.
For the game, Ole Miss shot 52.2 percent from the floor (24-46) and 71.4 percent from the free throw line (15-21).
Ole Miss will host Lamar on Monday at 7 p.m. As part of the Kroger Fighting Hunger Food Drive, fans that bring 2 cans or donate $5 for the Million Meals Challenge will receive complimentary admission.
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