No. 12 Ole Miss (12-17 overall) vs. No. 5 Arkansas (21-7 overall) Date: March 1, 2012 Time: 6:30 p.m. CT Location: Nashville, Tenn. Arena: Bridgestone Arena Radio: Q93.7 (Graham Doty) Online: Gametracker TV: FSN Dave Baker, Van Chancellor Series vs. Arkansas: UM leads 23-10
QUICK HITS - Ole Miss fell to 12-17 overall (2-14 SEC) this season after falling on the road at Auburn Sunday afternoon to end the regular-season. - The Rebels will be the No. 12 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament held March 1-4 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. - Ole Miss will face No. 5 Arkansas on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Ole Miss owns a 25-32 all-time record in the SEC Tournament that began in 1980. - The Ole Miss/Arkansas game will be televised live on FSN. - Sophomore Valencia McFarland (13.7 ppg), senior Nikki Byrd (11.8 ppg) lead Ole Miss in scoring and have each scored over 300 points this season. - Byrd (8.6 rpg) and sophomore Danielle McCray (4.6 rpg) lead the team in rebounding. - McCray and freshman Tia Faleru each recorded career highs in rebounding at MSU, each recording 12 rebounds. Fellow freshman Mo Jackson also recorded a career-high in rebounding, grabbing eight boards. - Head coach Renee Ladner is in her fifth season at the helm. She has a career record of 70-82 overall and 23-53 in SEC play.
REBELS HEAD TO SEC TOURNAMENT Ole Miss (12-17, 2-14 SEC) will be the No. 12 seed in this week’s SEC Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., and will take on No. 5 Arkansas on Thursday. The Rebels and Razorbacks will play at 6:30 p.m. CT Thursday night live on FSN with Dave Baker and Van Chancellor on the call. The winner of the Ole Miss/Arkansas game will play the fourth-seeded LSU Tigers on Friday at 6:30 p.m. on FSN. The final of the SEC Tournament will be held on March 4 at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 with the winner earning the SEC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
ABOUT OLE MISS Ole Miss finished the regular season 12-18 overall and 2-14 in SEC play after falling on the road at Auburn Sunday afternoon to end conference play. The Rebels are led by Valencia McFarland (13.7 ppg, 4.8 apg) and Nikki Byrd (11.8 ppg, 8.6 rpg). Freshman Danielle McCray is second on the team in rebounding, averaging 4.6 rebounds per game. Head coach Renee Ladner is in her fifth season at the helm.
OLE MISS VS. ARKANSAS Ole Miss leads the all-time series between the two schools, 23-10. The Rebels are 1-0 against Arkansas this season, posting a 60-54 win over the Razorbacks in Oxford on January 12. Ole Miss is 4-1 against Arkansas in neutral site games and are 3-1 all-time against the Razorbacks in the SEC Tournament. The Rebels are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between the two schools.
A LOOK AT ARKANSAS Arkansas enters this week’s SEC Tournament as the No. 5 seed. The Razorbacks are 21-7 overall and ended the year 10-6 in SEC play. After starting conference play 0-4, the Arkansas went 10-2 to end the season. The Razorbacks are led by C’eira Ricketts (11.3 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game) and Sarah Watkins (10.8 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game). Ashley Daniels leads the team in rebounding, averaging 6.1 boards per game. As a team, Arkansas averages 62.0 points per game while its opponents average 53.1 points per game.
OLE MISS IN THE SEC TOURNAMENT Ole Miss and Arkansas will be meeting for the fifth time in the SEC Tournament. The Rebels are 3-1 all-time against the Razorbacks in the postseason event. The last meeting between the two schools in the SEC Tournament was on March 5, 2009 with Ole Miss posting a 65-60 win in Little Rock, Ark. Ole Miss owns a 25-32 all-time record in the SEC Tournament that began in 1980. On the first day of the tournament, Ole Miss is 14-6 all-time in the first round of the tournament. Since 2004, Ole Miss has lost just once on the first day of the tournament as the Rebels fell to South Carolina 60-52 on March 3, 2010.
Ole Miss/Arkansas All-Time Meetings In the SEC Tournament 3/5/09 UM, 65-50 Little Rock, Ark. 3/2/06 UM, 94-64 Little Rock, Ark. 2/28/02 UA, 78-60 Nashville, Tenn. 3/1/96 UM, 76-73 Chattanooga, Tenn.
THE LAST TIME OUT BETWEEN OLE MISS AND ARKANSAS Nikki Byrd led Ole Miss with 16 points and Valencia McFarland added 13 points and seven assists as the Rebels posted a 60-54 win over the Razorbacks on January 12.
MCFARLAND NAMED C SPIRE WIRELESS GILLOM TROPHY FINALIST Sophomore Valencia McFarland is one of the three finalists for the 2012 C Spire Wireless Gillom Trophy as voted on by 51 statewide media members. The award is presented annually to the top female collegiate basketball player in Mississippi and is named after former Ole Miss great Peggie Gillom. The other finalists are senior Diamber Johnson from Mississippi State and senior Veronica Walker from Delta State. The winner will be announced at a banquet on Monday, March 5 in Jackson, Miss.
NEWS AND NOTES In Ole Miss’ regular-season finale at Auburn, five of the Rebels’ players played at least 35 minutes in the game ... Ole Miss’ game against Auburn marked the second time this season Ole Miss led at the half but lost the game ... the Central Michigan game was the other ... Georgia became just the second team to shoot over 50 percent from the floor against Ole Miss (LSU, 55.2%, Georgia 52.6%) ... Freshman Tia Faleru played a career-high 45 minutes in Ole Miss’ overtime loss to Mississippi State ... At No. 6 Kentucky, Ole Miss was held without a player scoring in double figures for the first time since March of 2008 ... The Rebels turned the ball over a season-high 36 times against the Wildcats then responded one game later with its lowest amount of turnovers in six games (13) at Florida ... Eleven times this season, Ole Miss has held its opponent to under 68 points but lost the game (at Lamar, Florida, at Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Georgia, at South Carolina, Auburn, Alabama, at Mississippi State, vs. Tennessee at Auburn) ... Twelve of Ole Miss’ game this season have been decided by nine points or less ... The Rebels won back-to-back SEC games for the first time since January of 2010 when the team won five straight conference games ... Ole Miss’ 14-point margin of victory at Alabama marked the Rebels’ biggest margin of victory over an SEC opponent since January 21, 2010 when Ole Miss beat Mississippi State, 66-58 ... Ole Miss shot a season-best 57.1 percent from the floor (32-56) in a win over Cleveland State ... Prior to the Central Michigan game this year where Ole Miss allowed 61 boards, the Rebels hadn’t allowed 60+ rebounds since 2003.
MCFARLAND RECORDS MOST ASSISTS BY A REBEL SINCE 2009-10 Sophomore Valencia McFarland, who has led or been tied for the team lead in assists in 27 games this season, has 141 assists in 29 games for an average of 4.9 assists per game. During the 2009-10 season, Shantel Black recorded 135 assists. Kayla Melson recorded 178 assists that same season. The program record for most assists in a season is 212 held by Kim Bullard (1985-86).
McFarland recorded three assists against Alabama to give herself a career-high for assists in a season on February 9. As a freshman last year, she finished the season with 123 assists. She has recorded at least five assists in 24 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.
MCFARLAND RECORDS 10TH CAREER 20-POINT GAME Sophomore Valencia McFarland recorded her 10th career 20-point game with 22 points to lead all scorers at No. 16 Georgia on February 24. Earlier this season she scored a career-high 25 points in a win at Alabama, 24 points against Central Michigan, added 23 in a win over Lipscomb, 21 against No. 10 Tennessee and scored 20 in a win over Grambling State. McFarland recorded four 20-point games last season.
CAREER NUMBERS WATCH Senior forward Nikki Byrd is on pace to score nearly over 830 career points and grab nearly 650 career rebounds. To date, she has recorded 826 career points (317 this year) and 642 career rebounds (230 this year). Byrd is averaging 11.8 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game this season. Sophomore point guard Valencia McFarland is on pace to end her sophomore year with a total of nearly 770 career points and close to 270 career assists. McFarland has recorded 769 career points (398 this year) and 264 career assists (141 this year). This season, she is averaging 13.7 points per game and 4.8 assists per game.
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