OXFORD, Miss. - Valencia McFarland and Kayla Melson led Ole Miss to a 64-60 win over Nicholls State Saturday afternoon. With the win Ole Miss improves to 3-1 while Nicholls State fell to 2-1.
McFarland led Ole Miss for the second straight game as she scored 16 points. Melson recorded her second double-double of the year with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Ole Miss started the game on a 10-3 run before Nicholls State responded with a 9-0 run to go ahead 12-10 with 14:40 left in the half.
A three pointer from McFarland put the Rebels up by four, 21-17, with 8:46 to play. But the Colonels again came back to go up four, 25-21, with 6:59 remaining.
McFarland hit two threes in the last 3:12 of the half as the Rebels took a 36-29 lead at the half.
Ole Miss shot 15-of-39 (38.5 percent) from the floor while Nicholls State shot 12-of-26 (46.2 percent). McFarland led the Rebels at the half with 12 points while Melson led the team with seven rebounds.
Ole Miss opened up an 11-point lead to start the second half to go up, 42-31. Nicholls State cut the Rebels' lead to four, 46-42, on a three pointer with 12:52 left in the game.
The Colonels went up four, 53-49, with 5:49 remaining before the Rebels tied the game at 53-53 on a layup by McFarland with 3:55 to play. The Rebels went up three, 60-57, on a three-point play by Melson with under two minutes to play.
A jumper by McFarland with 40 seconds left put Ole Miss up 62-57 but Nicholls State hit a three on their next possession to cut the lead to two, 62-60, with 23 seconds left. Melson hit two free throws with 5.8 seconds remaining as Ole Miss posted the 64-60 win.
"It's a win. Nicholls State was prepared," head coach Renee Ladner said. "We have to move. We came out in the second half with an 11-point lead and then we fought for the rest of the game. We aren't playing as cohesive unit. But I'm happy for a win."
Pa'Sonna Hope recorded 12 points for Ole Miss while Courtney Marbra finished with nine points and seven boards. Ole Miss shot 36.8 percent (25-of-68) for the game. The Rebels outrebounded the Colonels 53-25.
Ole Miss will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown. The Rebels will take on Gonzaga on Nov. 27 at 9:45 p.m. CT. Ole Miss will face either North Carolina Central or Hawai`i on Nov. 28 and will play a third game on Nov. 29.
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