Ole Miss (11-6 overall, 1-3 SEC) at Alabama (10-8 overall, 0-4 SEC) Date: January 15, 2012 Time: 2 p.m. CT Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala. Arena: Foster Auditorium Radio: 105.5 & Q93.7 (Graham Doty) Gametracker: OleMissSports.com Series vs. Alabama: UM leads, 32-18
QUICK HITS - Ole Miss improved to 11-6 overall (1-3 SEC) this season after beating Arkansas at home, 60-54, Thursday night. - Freshman Danielle McCray tied her career high in rebounds (8) against Arkansas while fellow freshman Tia Faleru made her first career start. - Senior Nikki Byrd (14.6 ppg) and sophomore Valencia McFarland (13.0 ppg) lead Ole Miss in scoring. - Byrd recorded her 16th career double-double (and 11th this season) against Vanderbilt with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Byrd recorded five consecutive double-doubles from Nov. 18 to Dec. 12. She is the first player in the SEC this season to record double-digit double-doubles. - Byrd (10.4 rpg) and sophomore Pa’Sonna Hope (3.9 rpg) lead the team in rebounding. - Byrd is 17th in the nation in rebounding in the NCAA stats released on January 12 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 68-71 overall and 22-42 in SEC play.
REBELS TRAVEL TO ALABAMA Ole Miss will try to win two in a row when the team travels to Alabama Sunday for a 2 p.m. game against the Crimson Tide. The Rebels (11-6 overall, 1-3 SEC) are 8-3 at home this season and 3-3 on the road. With 12 regular-season games remaining, the Rebels have won more games this season (11) than they did all of 2010-11 (10).
ABOUT OLE MISS Ole Miss is 11-6 overall this season and 1-3 in SEC play after beating Arkansas 60-54 Thursday night at home. The Rebels are led by Nikki Byrd (14.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and Valencia McFarland (13.0 ppg, 95 assists). Sophomore Pa’Sonna Hope is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 3.9 rebounds per game. Head coach Renee Ladner is in her fifth season at the helm.
OLE MISS VS. ALABAMA Ole Miss leads the all-time series, 32-18. Alabama won the last meeting between the two schools, beating Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa, 61-52 last year. Alabama leads the all-time series in Tuscaloosa, 11-10. Ole Miss’ last win against Alabama on the road was a 70-54 win on February 24, 2008.
A LOOK AT ALABAMA Alabama enters Sunday’s game 10-8 overall (0-4 SEC). The Crimson Tide fell to Mississippi State 66-61 Thursday night. Jasmine Robinson leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game while Ericka Russell is second, averaging 9.9 points per game. Erin Houge leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game. As a team, Alabama averages 63.6 points per game while its opponents average 60.9.
OLE MISS -ALABAMA CONNECTIONS Current Alabama head women’s basketball coach Wendell Hudson served as an assistant men’s coach at Ole Miss from 1983-85.
NEWS AND NOTES Ole Miss recorded 20 assists on 22 field goals in its win over Arkansas ... With 12 regular-season games remaining, Ole Miss has posted 11 wins to date, surpassing the win total from the 2010-11 season (10 games) ... Three times this season, Ole Miss has held its opponent to under 68 points but lost the game (at Lamar, Florida and at Vanderbilt) ... One opposing team this season has shot over 50 percent from the floor against Ole Miss (LSU, 55.2%) ... 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 10.4 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 ... Eight of Ole Miss’ games this season have been decided by nine points or less ... 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.
BYRD RANKED 17TH IN THE NATION IN REBOUNDING In the latest NCAA stats released January 13, senior forward Nikki Byrd is 17th in the nation in rebounding, averaging 10.4 rebounds per game. The NCAA stats will be released again on Monday, January, 16. Byrd is also ranked 18th in the nation in field goal percentage (56.1%) and third in double-doubles (11). Byrd has been ranked as high as fourth in the nation in rebounding this season and has been no higher than 17th 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 13, sophomore point guard Valencia McFarland is 23rd in assists, averaging 5.6 assists per game.
BYRD RECORDS 16TH CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE Senior Nikki Byrd recorded her 16th career double-double in a loss at Vanderbilt with 15 points and 13 rebounds. It is her 11 double-double of the season. From Nov. 18 to Dec. 3, Byrd recorded five consecutive double-doubles to become the first player to record five consecutive double-doubles since Armintie Price in 2007.
With her 11th double-double of the year, Byrd becomes the first player since Armintie Price in 2006-07 to record at least 10 double-double in a season. Byrd is also the first player in the SEC this year to record double-digit double-doubles.
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 756 career points (249 this year) and 587 career rebounds (175 this year). Byrd is averaging 14.6 points per game and 10.4 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 592 career points (221 this year) and 218 career assists (95 this year). This season, she is averaging 13.0 points per game and 5.6 assists per game.
MCFARLAND LEADS TEAM IN ASSISTS...AGAIN Sophomore Valencia McFarland, who has led the team in assists in 14 games this season, has 95 assists in 17 games for an average of 5.6 assists per game. She has recorded at least five assists in 22 career games for Ole Miss. This season she has recorded double-digit assists in two games with 10 against Cleveland State and a career-high 11 in a win over SELA. As a freshman, she finished the year with a team-leading 123 assists.
“WE BACK PAT” WEEK JANUARY 15-22 The Southeastern Conference in cooperation with its 12-member institutions announces “We Back Pat” Week, a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and its fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
During the week of January 15-22, SEC member institutions will support the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund during their home basketball games. Ole Miss’ “We Back Pat” game is Sunday, January 22 vs. Georgia at 2 p.m. (CSS). 100% of Ole Miss’ ticket revenue from the game will go to the Pat Summitt Foundation as will the women’s basketball team’s charity funds from this year. The Rebels will year “We Back Pat” shooting shirts and the stat and table crew will wear “We Back Pat” T-shirts.
FALERU FIRST CAREER START Freshman Tia Faleru made her first career start in Ole Miss’ 60-54 win over Arkansas on January 12. She finished the game with five points and three steals in 18 minutes of play.
MCCRAY TIES CAREER HIGH Freshman Danielle McCray tied her career high with eight rebounds in a win over Arkansas on January 12. She also recorded eight rebounds against South Alabama in a win over South Alabama in November.
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