Nov. 24, 2013
Quotes Box Score Photo Gallery BEYOND THE GAME Insell Press Conference
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team, led by senior Valencia McFarland, who scored game-high 22 points, picked up its second consecutive win with a 77-61 win over visiting Tennessee State on Sunday (Nov. 24) at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
Ole Miss (3-4) put together a strong second half, shooting 51.7 percent (15-of-29), and scoring 46 points while holding Tennessee State (1-5) to just 32 second-half points. The Rebels dominated inside, scoring 36 of their 77 points in the paint, most of those points coming in the form of layups.
McFarland picked up her second consecutive 20-point game with a season-high 22 points, while adding a season-best eight assists, nearing her first double-double of the season. Tia Faleru was also in double figures for the third consecutive game with 18 points and eight rebounds just two boards shy of her third consecutive double-double. Danielle McCray, starting her second consecutive contest, led the Rebels on the glass with nine boards.
“We seem to respond in the second half and play a lot better,” said head coach Matt Insell. “The biggest difference was we didn’t bring 100% effort in the first half, but I’m proud of their effort in the second half. We’re a work in progress, but we’re getting better each day. Eventually we are going to put this thing together and it’s going to be explosive in here one afternoon.”
Diara Moore and McCray also reached double digits for Ole Miss with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Taking just a two-point advantage into halftime, Ole Miss used a 12-1 burst to open the second half, taking a 42-32 lead, the first double-digit lead for either team, and from that point started to pull away.
The Rebels utilized a triple from McFarland at the 15:30 mark and Gracie Frizzell got in the long range action with one of her two treys on the afternoon as Ole Miss took a 47-36 lead at the 13:33 mark.
The Ole Miss defense was especially good in the second half, holding Tennessee State to just nine points through the first 10 minutes of the half and just 32 points in the second frame, the second fewest points for an Ole Miss opponent this season.
The Tigers got as close as 16 points in the final 6:46 of action, but that was as close as the visitors would get the remainder of the contest.
After a slow start to the game for the Rebels, in which Moore scored the first four Ole Miss points, Ole Miss tied the game at 6-6 at the 15:45 mark on a pair from Faleru at the line.
Faleru’s free throw shooting kept Ole Miss in the game in the early goings. The junior went 7-of-8 in the first half missing her lone free throw with just 47 seconds left in the half and closed the game with a 9-of-10 mark from the charity stripe.
The first half could be characterized as a back-and-forth affair in the first half with seven ties and seven lead changes. Ole Miss took its largest lead -- five points -- at the 4:31 mark of the half. With the Rebels trailing 19-18, back-to-back baskets from McFarland and a layup from Moore put the home team ahead.
The visitors answered and with a triple from Chelsea Hudson took a 29-28 lead with 1:10 left, but a Faleru free throw and a jumper from Moore to take a 31-29 lead into the halftime break.
Ole Miss shot 40.7 percent on 11-of-27 shooting and held Tennessee State to just 27.3 percent shooting (9-of-33), but the home squad threw the ball away 12 times in the first half, leading to five points for the Tigers.
Ole Miss closes its three-game homestand on Tuesday (Nov. 26) when they host the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. or 30 minutes following the Ole Miss men’s game against North Carolina A&T, which is scheduled to tip at 3:00 p.m. in the Tad Smith Coliseum. For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
Ole Miss moves to 3-1 at the Tad Pad this season … Valencia McFarland extends her scoring streak to 94 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 85 games … Danielle McCray in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game … Valencia McFarland’s 22 points marks her second consecutive game with 20 or more points, after scoring 20 against Southeastern Louisiana on Friday (Nov. 22) … McFarland had a season-best eight assists … McFarland eclipsed the 1,200 career points mark with her 22 points and now has 302 career assists.