BEYOND THE BOXSCORE: Lessons Learned From Loss In SEC Opener

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Ole Miss dropped its SEC opener but will take away valuable lessons.

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Ole Miss dropped its SEC opener but will take away valuable lessons.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 2, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss dropped its SEC opener to Missouri, 85-76, on Thursday night at the Tad Smith Coliseum. It was just the Rebels' second defeat in their last nine games, which also included a seven-game win streak and a hard-fought 87-80 loss at No. 9 Baylor.

One of the keys entering the game was Missouri's 3-point shooting versus the Ole Miss 3-point defense. The Tigers ranked third in the SEC shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range, including a league-best 133 3-pointers, while the Rebels led the SEC limiting opponent to just 20.8 percent from behind the arc.

Missouri shot a season-best 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from 3-point range, including one 3-pointer that extended the lead to 81-74 with 58 seconds left after two offensive rebounds.

"They did what they do," head coach Matt Insell said. "They make a lot of threes and they're one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country. We focused in on that all week on how to guard that and we let them go 15-of-24 from the three-point line, and you're not going to win if you let someone shoot 15-of-24 from the three-point line. As bad as we guarded, we had a chance down four, where you get a stop, but you just can't corral the rebound.

"It goes back to Baylor where I keep telling them your one rebound away, and we have to figure out how to get those rebounds there at crucial times, so we can come back down and have a chance to win. All credit to Missouri. We'll grow from this game and get better. We have to have a short-term memory in this league."

The Tigers led by as many as 10 points in the first half and 12 in the second half, and despite shooting 26.3 percent in the first half, the Rebels never went away. Early in the second half, junior Amber Singletary and freshman Shequila Joseph hit back-to-back 3's to give Ole Miss a 42-41 lead with 17:13 left, but Missouri had an answer.

"There could have been times today where this team could have quit," Insell said. "I promise you a month and a half ago they would have quit, but they didn't. They kept pushing forward. We took a lead, and we got to figure out when we take that lead, how to find a little more in you. We haven't found little bit more yet, but we're going to keep pushing every day in practice to find that little bit more."

With a 9-6 record, Ole Miss has equaled the team's win total from 2012-13, and Insell credits the overall change within the program to confidence and preparation. The Rebels seek their 10th win of the season next Thursday at No. 5 Tennessee, which moved to 11-2 after an 80-77 loss to No. 16 LSU on Thursday night.

"They're starting to prepare themselves to win," Insell said of his team. "This is a unique situation where we have lost a lot of game over the last six years. A lot of people expect to think that they're going to watch the women's team and they're probably going to lose. We have to change that mentality.

"That's something that's starting to change. Our kids are starting to believe that they're good and that they can win. We did a lot of things to beat ourselves here. I give Missouri total credit, but we could have stopped them on some things that they were doing and we could have showed some more toughness offensively and scored some baskets at the rim that could have won us this basketball game, so we'll go back and look at the things that we can fix and we'll fix that and get better from it."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

 

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Aug. 25-31)

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewAug. 25-31, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss opened the 2014 season with a 35-13 win over Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Atlanta's Georgia Dome.- The Rebels led 7-6 entering the fourth quarter... read more

    • ESPN's Chucky Mullins Documentary to Debut Thursday

      Monday, September 1, 2014 - Football

      The SEC Storied documentary "It's Time," centered on the the inspirational friendship between former Vanderbilt football player Brad Gaines and former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, will premiere on Tuesday on the Vanderbilt campus and will debut on... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Aug. 31

      Sunday, August 31, 2014 - Athletics

      This is a new concept we've created for the Ole Miss Sports Blog that we're calling Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations... read more

    • What They're Saying: Ole Miss-Boise State

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      The No. 18 Ole Miss football team won the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game defeating Boise State 35-13. The Rebels move into Southeastern Conference next week with a road test at Vanderbilt from Nashville's LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. The... read more

    • 'The New Normal' on Defense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- Boise State had been the highest scoring team in the nation, averaging 40.2 points per game dating back to the 2000 season.  Highlighted by four interceptions, eight tackles for loss and big hits by several different players, the... read more

    • Second-Half Surge for Rebel Offense

      Friday, August 29, 2014 - Football

      ATLANTA -- After an up-and-down first half, which included a touchdown and three interceptions, senior quarterback Bo Wallace and the Ole Miss offense found their stride in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter. Leading 7-6 early in the... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Boise State Motivational

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Boise State Official Team Motivational '14 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Boise State

      Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss opens its 2014 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Boise State from Atlanta's Georgia Dome. Contrast in Experience Boise State has one of the youngest teams in the country with 67 freshmen... read more

    • Volleyball Opens Steven McRoberts Era

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Volleyball

      Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 1 (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Dome, Sweet Dome for Atlanta Area Rebels

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - Football

      For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships.  For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Forward Together Construction Update

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • Relentless is the Word on Defense

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Football

      ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word.  Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense.  And... read more

    • McCormick, Defense Shine in Win

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Soccer

      After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more

    • Rebels Battle to Draw on Historic Night

      Friday, August 22, 2014 -

      Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more