Dec. 7, 2013
Quotes Box Score Photo Gallery
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team picked up its sixth consecutive victory with a 72-60 win over in-state foe Mississippi Valley State at the Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday (Dec. 7) afternoon.
Mississippi Valley State made things late interesting by cutting a once 14-point Ole Miss lead to just four-points with 3:55 remaining, but the Rebels rattled off eight unanswered to seal the victory for the Rebels. The six-game winning streak is the longest for Ole Miss since the 2008-09 season.
Valencia McFarland led Rebels with a game-high 20 points, while Tia Faleru picked up her sixth double-double with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Danielle McCray had a career-high 17 points and Diara Moore contributed 12 points for her third consecutive game in double figures.
“I’m very happy to get this win at home and build some momentum for the road games at South Alabama and Baylor,” said head coach Matt Insell. “We go on the road and play at South Alabama, which has a great program. Baylor is a team this year competing for a national championship. It’s going to be a great test and a great measuring stick for us. We need to take care of business in South Alabama and then see how much we have improved against a top 10 team.”
Ole Miss (7-4) won the battle of the intangibles, none more important than second chance point and points off turnovers. The Rebels scored 20 points on second chance attempts and add 16 points off turnovers. Ole Miss forced Mississippi Valley (1-7) into a season-high 24 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well on the afternoon. Ole Miss shot 39.5 percent (30-of-76), while Mississippi Valley State shot 38.9 percent (21-of-54). Ole Miss’ 39.5 percent was its lowest shooting percentage in the last two games.
The Devilettes wouldn’t go away in the second half and cut the Ole Miss lead to single digits with just three minutes off the second half game clock, but the Rebels wouldn’t fold and used a 6-2 spurt to push the lead back into double digits, 47-36, at the under 12 media timeout.
In the first half, Ole Miss found themselves trailing with just a few minutes off the game clock, forcing coach Insell to call a timeout. That was all the motivation the team needed as they went on a 6-0 run to tie the game all while forcing the visitors into three turnovers in a 90 second span, leading to five points for the home team.
The Rebels defense was on point early holding the Devilettes to just one point in a five minute span early in the first half. Holding a 20-14 lead at the 8:11 mark of the half, the Rebels went on an 18-8 run to take a 38-26 lead into halftime. Ole Miss was strong on the defensive end, forcing Mississippi Valley into 16 first half turnovers, resulting in 10 points for the home team.
The Rebels will take some time off for exams before hitting the road for back-to-back contests. Ole Miss opens its two-game road swing at South Alabama on Dec. 16 and will take on No. 9/10 Baylor on Dec. 18. The Baylor game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest. The Rebels are back at home to close out the non-conference slate on Dec. 30 against Austin Peay at 6 p.m. For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
Valencia McFarland extends her scoring streak to 98 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 88 games … Ole Miss moves to 6-1 on their home floor this season … Ole Miss’ six-game winning streak is the most consecutive for the Rebels since the 2010-11 season, when they also won five straight, the last time Ole Miss won more than five in a row was in 2008-09 … Ole Miss has won the last seven games in the series with today’s victory and moves to 10-0 in games played in Oxford … Danielle McCray’s 17 points is a new career-high … Tia Faleru posted her sixth double-double and her11th career.