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
    • Wallace Looks to Make More History

      Thursday, December 18, 2014 - Football

      Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games.  Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more

    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

    • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

      Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (No. 24-30, 2014)

      Monday, December 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 30

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more