OXFORD, Miss. – Led by Valencia McFarland and Nikki Byrd, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team beat Grambling State, 78-53, Saturday afternoon.
With today’s win, Ole Miss improved to 6-1 which is tied for the second-best start under head coach Renee Ladner. The 2008-09 team started 7-0 while the 2009-10 team started 6-1. The win also pushed the Rebels’ winning streak to five games, the longest since the 2009-10 season when Ole Miss won five straight from January 6 – January 24 and kept Ole Miss undefeated at home this season with a 4-0 mark.
McFarland led Ole Miss with 20 points, four assists and five steals. Byrd recorded her fifth consecutive double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Ole Miss jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead with 15:24 left in the first half before pushing its lead to 23 points, 43-20, on a put back from Pa’Sonna Hope with 3:51 left in the half.
At the half, the Rebels led 47-28. Ole Miss shot 43.2 percent (16-37) from the floor in the first half while Grambling State shot 34.3 percent (12-35). Valencia McFarland led Ole Miss with 14 points at the half while Nikki Byrd had 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
In the second half, Ole Miss went up, 57-35, on a shot from McFarland with 15:06 to play. Jasmine Trotter’s layup with 3:40 remaining gave Ole Miss a 74-45 lead.
For the game, Ole Miss shot 42.9 percent (30-70) while Grambling State shot 30.4 percent (21-69). The Rebels finished the game with 17 assists and six blocks.
Ole Miss will play at No. 8 Miami on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT.
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