HONOLULU, Hawaii – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team posted a 70-61 win over Illinois in the third place game of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahnie Showdown Sunday in Hawaii.
With the win Ole Miss improves to 5-2 while Illinois fell to 3-4.
Valencia McFarland led Ole Miss with a career-high 24 points and added five rebounds and four assists. Kayla Melson a career-high 21 points and nine assists.
Illinois started the game with a 13-4 lead before the Rebels cut the lead to five on LaTosha Laws’ three, 15-10, with 10:19 to play. The Fighting Illini pushed their lead to 14, 24-10, with 5:46 left in the first half.
A three-point play by Melson cut Illinois’ lead to three, 26-23, with 46 seconds to play as the Fighting Illini took a 28-23 lead at the half.
McFarland led Ole Miss at the half with nine points, all three pointers, while Courtney Marbra led the Rebels with four rebounds. Ole Miss shot 31.0 percent (9-of-29) from the floor while Illinois shot 32.4 percent (11-of-34).
Ole Miss took its first lead of the game, 34-33, on a three by McFarland with 15:33 to play. Back-to-back threes from McFarland gave Ole Miss a 44-38 lead with 12:46 to play.
Illinois cut Ole Miss’ lead to one, 47-46, with 9:50 to play. Ole Miss pushed its lead to six, 57-51, on a pair of free throws from Marbra with 4:52 to play.
McFarland’s long two put Ole Miss up 63-55 with 1:59 remaining as the Rebels posted the 70-61 win.
Ole Miss will end its four-game road trip on Sunday, December 5 at South Alabama at 4 p.m. The Rebels will return to the Tad Smith Coliseum on December 11 hosting Southeastern Louisiana at 1 p.m.
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