Ole Miss (10-4, 0-1 SEC) vs. Florida (10-4, 0-1 SEC) Date: January 5, 2012 Time: 7:05 p.m. CT Location: Oxford, Miss. Arena: Tad Smith Coliseum Radio: Q93.7 FM (Graham Doty) Gametracker: OleMissSports.com Television: FSFL/SunSports Series vs. Florida: Ole Miss leads 16-13
QUICK HITS - Ole Miss fell to 10-4 overall (0-1 SEC) this season after falling in its SEC opener to LSU, 83-44 on Sunday afternoon. - Senior Nikki Byrd (14.6 ppg) and sophomore Valencia McFarland (13.2 ppg) lead Ole Miss in scoring. - Byrd recorded her 14th career double-double (and ninth this season) against SELA with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Byrd recorded five consecutive double-doubles from Nov. 18 to Dec. 12. - Senior Whitney Hameth recorded a career-best nine rebounds against LSU. - McFarland recorded her first career double-double against Cleveland State with 14 points and 10 assists. She also added a career-best 11 assists one game later against SELA. - Byrd (10.5 rpg) and sophomore Pa’Sonna Hope (4.1 rpg) lead the team in rebounding. - Byrd is 13th in the nation in rebounding in the NCAA stats released on January 2 and is currently ranked first in the SEC. - Head coach Renee Ladner is in her fifth season at the helm. She has a career record of 68-69 overall and 21-40 in SEC play.
REBELS HOST FLORIDA Ole Miss will end its five-game home stand on January 5 when the team hosts SEC opponent Florida on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. The game will be televised on FSFL/SunSports. The Rebels (10-4 overall, 0-1 SEC) are 7-2 at home this season and 3-2 on the road. The team has won as many games this season (10) as the team won all of 2010-11 (10-19).
ABOUT OLE MISS Ole Miss is 10-4 overall this season and 0-1 in SEC play after falling to LSU, 83-44, Sunday afternoon. The Rebels are led by Nikki Byrd (14.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and Valencia McFarland (13.2 ppg, 79 assists). Sophomore Pa’Sonna Hope is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 4.1 rebounds per game. Head coach Renee Ladner is in her fifth season at the helm.
OLE MISS VS. FLORIDA Ole Miss leads the all-times series with Florida, 16-13. The Rebels won the last meeting, a 61-59 victory in Gainesville, last season. The last 10 games in the series are tied at 5-5. The Gators won the last meeting in Oxford, posting a 67-64 win over the Rebels in 2010. Four of the last five meetings between the two schools have been decided by eight points or less.
A LOOK AT FLORIDA The Gators are 10-4 overall and 0-1 in SEC play. Florida opened SEC play on New Year’s Day with a 59-56 loss to No. 6 Kentucky. The Gators are led by Jennifer George (13.6 points per game) who leads three Florida players in double figures. George also leads the team in rebounding, averaging 10.0 rebounds per game. As a team, the Gators average 71.9 points per game while holding its opponents to 61.0 points per game.
OLE MISS - FLORIDA CONNECTIONS Ole Miss head coach Renee Ladner spent two seasons (2000-01 and 2001-02) as an assistant coach at the University of Florida.
NEWS AND NOTES One opposing team this season has shot over 50 percent from the floor against Ole Miss (LSU, 55.2%) ... The Rebels are shooting just 61 percent from the free throw line this season and have shot just 40 percent (16-40) in its last two games ... Jasmine Trotter recorded a career-high four rebounds in four minutes in a win over SELA ... This season the Rebels have had two winning streaks of four or more games - a five-game winning streak from 11/18-12/3 and a four-game winning streak from 12/16-12/29 ... Ole Miss shot a season-best 57.1 percent from the floor (32-56) in a win over Cleveland State ... ... The Rebels scored a season-high 41 points in the second half at Lipscomb while holding the Bisons to 18 points in the second half ... Nikki Byrd has doubled her rebound and scoring averages from last season and is averaging a career-high 14.6 ppg and a career-high 10.5 rpg ... Ole Miss’ game against Central Michigan marked the first time this season the Rebels led at the half but lost the game ... Prior to the Central Michigan game this year where Ole Miss allowed 61 boards, the Rebels hadn’t allowed 60+ rebounds since 2003 ... From Nov. 18 to Dec. 3, Ole Miss has held four if its five opponents to 53 points or under ... Nikki Byrd has scored a team-high 26 points this season while also recording a team-high 17 rebounds ... Six of Ole Miss’ games this season have been decided by nine points or less ... Valencia McFarland and Nikki Byrd have started each game for Ole Miss ... ... Ole Miss held South Alabama without a player scoring in double figures marking the first time since November 19, 2006 that the Rebels did not allow a player on an opposing team to score in double figures.
CAREER NUMBERS WATCH Senior forward Nikki Byrd is on pace to score over 900 career points and grab over 700 career rebounds. To date, she has recorded 712 career points (205 this year) and 558 career rebounds (147 this year). Byrd is averaging 14.6 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game this season.
Sophomore point guard Valencia McFarland is on pace to end her sophomore year with a total of over 750 career points and over 280 career assists. McFarland has recorded 556 career points (185 this year) and 202 career assists (79 this year). This season, she is averaging 13.2 points per game and 5.6 assists per game.
HAMETH RECORDS CAREER HIGH IN BOARDS Senior Whiney Hameth recorded a career-high and team-best nine rebounds in Ole Miss’ loss to LSU on January 1. Hameth grabbed eight defensive and one offensive rebounds in 30 minutes of play. The guard is tied for fourth on the team in rebounding, averaging 3.6 rebounds per game.
BYRD RANKED 13TH IN THE NATION IN REBOUNDING In the latest NCAA stats released January 2, senior forward Nikki Byrd is 13th in the nation in rebounding, averaging 10.5 rebounds per game. The NCAA stats will be released again on Monday, January, 9. Byrd is also ranked 15th in the nation in field goal percentage (57.4%) and third in double-doubles (nine). Byrd has been ranked no higher than 13th in the nation in rebounding every week this season the national stats have been released.
MCFARLAND NEARING A TOP-20 RANKING NATIONALLY IN ASSISTS In the latest NCAA stats released January 2, sophomore point guard Valencia McFarland is 22nd in assists, averaging 5.6 assists per game. She is also ranked 32nd nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.14).
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