Keep Up with Women's Basketball in Costa Rica
Aug. 1, 2016

Keep Up with the Rebels in Costa Rica

 Make sure you keep up to date with the Ole Miss women’s basketball team as they embark on a 10-day tour of Costa Rica. The team will play exhibition games against the University of Ottawa and the University of Costa Rica, while taking in the sights and sounds of Costa Rica. Follow this page to keep up to date with all the happenings!

Full Ole Miss Itinerary | Facebook Photo Album 

Monday, Aug. 1

3:30 AM (CT) – Tuohy Center (Oxford, Miss.) – The team and support staff loads up the Cline buses to depart for Memphis airport. The travel party has a 6:55 AM flight out of Memphis to Miami before landing in San Jose, Costa Rica, a little after 12:30 PM local time. 

12:30 PM (MT) – The Rebels land in Costa Rica! The trip was fairly smooth sailing although we had a few pieces of luggage not make it with the group (sorry Lynnette and Mrs. Deb!) but they were assured they would be at our hotel room sometime tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. We met or Basketball Travelers tour guide, Mike Petersen (he coached WBB at Wake Forest and North Texas) and his wife Patty. 

6:15 PM  – The travel party heads out to our first dinner in Costa Rica at Hard Rock Café before heading back to the hotel to get ready for a day of exploring the city of San Jose and hitting the hardwood vs. The University of Ottawa.

Tuesday, Aug. 2 – Gameday vs. Ottawa; San Jose City Tour

9:00 AM-1:30 PM – The Rebels went on a tour of historic San Jose, Costa Rica in the morning. The tour included a stop at one of the largest soccer (Futbol as its called here in Costa Rica) stadiums in Central America, a visit to a cathedral, some shopping in the downtown area and a trip to a very nice mall, whose food court had Popeyes, Cinanbon and several other very familiar restaurants, as well as stores.

3:15 PM – Pregame meal prior to our game vs. Ottawa tonight. The good thing is pregame meal choices seem to be pretty universal … chicken, salad, pasta, veggies!

5:15 PM – Headed to the gym for our first game of the tour. We’re taking on the University of Ottawa from Canada.

9:00 PM – REBS WIN!

Boxscore Get Acrobat Reader

Ole Miss picked up a 77-34 win over University of Ottawa. Shandricka Sessom led the way for the Rebels with 20 points, while Bretta Hart had eight rebounds. The game was a little slow to start as the teams matched each other bucket-for-bucket through the first quarter, but Ole Miss settled in for the second quarter outscoring Ottawa, 23-8, as the Rebels pulled away from that point. With the win, Ole Miss moved to 1-0 in games played in Costa Rica #RebsInCostaRica

9:21 PM – Postgame meal at the hotel for a job well done by the Rebs! On tap for tomorrow a visit to an orphanage and game No. 2 against Costa Rica.

Wednesday, Aug. 3 – Gameday vs. Costa Rica; Visit to Asociacion obras del Espiritu Santo

9:15 AM – We departed for a visit with the children who are serviced by a local church group, Asociacion obras del Espiritu Santo. This program services children who’s families are on hard times and even houses a small group of children who’s families can’t take care of them at the time. We toured the facility and also spent some time playing with the children. It was tough to leave them when we had to head back to our hotel but I think we turned them into Rebel fans and they certainly have some new friends from Oxford Mississippi.

12:00 PM – Headed back to the hotel to rest before our second game of the tour against the University of Costa Rica. We’ll rest before pregame meal at 2 pm and then head over to the gym to warm-up before game time at 5:30 PM.

3:15 PM – We finally arrived at the gym. Today it took us nearly an hour to get to the game compared to just 20 minutes yesterday. Come to find out yesterday (Tuesday, Aug. 2) was a national holiday. Nonetheless, we made it to the gym and are here warming up for our game against the local Costa Rican team.

5:30 PM – GAME TIME! The Rebels and the University of Costa Rica tip off for the second game of the Rebels Costa Rican tour.

7:20 PM – REBS WIN!

Boxscore Get Acrobat Reader

Ole Miss picked up win No. 2 of its Costa Rican tour with a resounding 163-35 win over the University of Costa Rica. Ole Miss started strong and kept it going throughout. The Rebels scored 48 points in the first quarter and held the home team to just a single point in the second quarter en route to a 89-17 halftime score. Shandricka Sessom had 21 points in the first half and closed with a team high 22 points, while Torri Lewis also had 22 points. Ole Miss saw some good work out of its rookies, particularly Shelby Gibson. Gibson started the contest and gave the Rebels a true post presence something the team hasn’t had in awhile. She scored eight points in the first half and finished the game with 17 points. On the glass Kate Rodgers tallied a game high 11 rebounds and was one of three Rebels in double figures on the glass en route to a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. 

7:31 PM – On the bus and headed to postgame meal at a local mall! #HottyToddy

Thursday, Aug. 4 – Off Day; Hiking at La Paz Waterfall Garden

10:00 AM – We had an off day today so we were able to get out and do some sightseeing. After breakfast we loaded the bus and headed for La Paz Waterfall Garden. It was about an hour drive with traffic (Note about traffic: Traffic in Costa Rica is BAD, like really bad and it only gets worse during the rainy season, which happens to be NOW).

10:45 AM – The drive up to the waterfall garden was up and mountain on a very small and windy road and some members of our travel party were not happy about that. As we started to head up the mountain several members of the party who will remain nameless had to move to the front of the bus to combat motion sickness! On the drive we stopped at a little stand that had souvenirs, coffee, plantains and some of the best strawberries around.

11:00 AM – We arrived at the Waterfall Garden, which was also home to what we would call back home a small zoo. There were lots of birds as well as monkey’s, snakes and jaguars. There was also a cool hummingbird house and butterfly garden that we were able to explore.

12:00 PM – We ate lunch at the Garden and they had a buffet that was FIRE! The food in Costa Rica is very good. Its a mixture of Caribbean and Spanish and is very flavorful. There is also a good bit of American cuisine here as well.

1:00 PM – We started our hike of the waterfalls and talk about AMAZING! We saw four different waterfalls and each one was so cool. Now the hiking was crazy, the trails were tiny and lots of up and down but it was really cool to be able to see nature on display.

3:00 PM – We loaded up the bus and headed back. Our tour guide passed out some lychee fruit on the way back and it was SOOO yummy! It has a strange casing (think pink and spiky) but on the inside it’s a pitted fruit that is sweet and similar to a grape.

4:00 PM – Back at the hotel after a long, but fun day exploring Costa Rica!

Friday, Aug. 5 – Game Day vs. Ottawa; Go Kart Racing

7:15 AM – We met up in the lobby for an early breakfast since our game was at 10 am and we wanted to try and beat the terrible Costa Rican traffic (We will NEVER complain about traffic in Oxford again!). The team donned their red practice gear for today’s final game against the team from the Canada.

8:45 AM – We arrived at the gym and found some water aerobics happening in the outdoor pool adjoining the gym and found some circuit training happening on the gym floor. That ended at 9 am and we started to get some warm-up shots up in preparation for our final game here in Costa Rica. 


11:30 AM- REBS WIN!

Boxscore Get Acrobat Reader

Ole Miss moved to a perfect 3-0 on its Costa Rican tour with a 71-46 win over Ottawa in its final game of the tour. A pair of Ole Miss freshmen led the team in scoring as Shelby Gibson had 11 points and Bree Glover had 10 points. Bretta Hart and Shequila Joseph led the team in rebounding with a combined 17 rebounds with Joseph leading the way with nine boards. Each of Ole Miss’ players that played scored and each person had at least two points. On the tour each of Ole Miss’ freshman started a game and head coach Matt Insell varied his starting lineup each game with Shandricka Sessom being the lone player to start each game. Overall, the Rebels averaged over 70 points per game on the tour and scored a whopping 163 points against Costa Rica in their second game of action.

12:08 PM – After changing clothes at the gym, the Rebels headed out to the go-kart track to grab some lunch and do some racing.

4:45 PM – After a W and some extremely competitive go-kart racing (The award for most competitive goes to Coach Insell, Armintie Herrington and Lynnette Johnson) the Rebels are finally back at the hotel for a night of relaxing and bonding as a team. Tomorrow we do a coffee tour which is an adventure made for Bretta Hart:)


Saturday, Aug. 6 – Britt Coffee Plantation Tour; Alissa’s Birthday

11:00 AM – The Rebels were able to sleep in this morning after an early wakeup call on Friday. The travel party was able to wake up at their leisure and have breakfast before heading to the Britt Coffee Plantation. The morning breakfast also brought a lovely rendition of “Happy Birthday” (in front of the entire breakfast room filled with people, mostly strangers) to our birthday girl, sophomore Alissa Alston from our SID Jessica Poole and Coordinator of Player Engagement Armintie Herrington.

11:30 AM – We boarded the bus for our tour of the Britt Coffee Plantation. This was an aspect of the trip that several of our coffee drinkers were really looking forward to, particularly Bretta Hart and our video coordinator Amit Tailor.

12:00 PM – We had a buffet lunch before starting the tour. Our tour guides were absolutely hilarious and taught us the inner workings of what it takes to get our morning cup of Joe. We learned about the various regions that coffee is grown in in Costa Rica, we learned about the growing process and numerous other interesting tidbits about coffee.

3:00 PM – We headed to the gift shop where there were MANY purchases of coffee and even a group shipping of 15 bags back to Oxford, what can we say some of us like our café!!

3:30 PM – We returned to the hotel for some downtime before a group trip to the mall for dinner. Tomorrow we’ll get up bright and early and head to coast aka … THE BEACH!



Sunday, Aug. 7 – Leave San Jose; Crocodile River Tour

7:00 AM – It was an early wakeup call of the Rebels and we packed up our stuff and headed to the costal region of Costa Rica, where the beaches are. We wanted to get an early start as there was a world surfing competition in the direction we were heading and we wanted to miss the traffic.

8:30 AM – AS we traveled to the beaches we stopped for a Crocodile river tour. We loaded up a boat and set sail on a river that featured at least 200 crocodiles and other wildlife. We saw males and females and baby crocodiles and even two alpha male crocodiles that weighed about 1600-1700 lbs.

10:30 AM – We headed to the beach town of Jaco to grab some lunch and explore the beach area before we checked into our new hotel. This area was similar to the market area of San Jose that we visited earlier in the trip.

2:30 PM – Check into our hotel (which may be the nicest hotel I have ever seen) and hit the beach for some team bonding. Tomorrow we’ll do a zip line tour as a group!

Monday, Aug. 8 – Zip Line Tour

10:30 AM – Today was a fun day as we got to o on a zip line tour! We loaded up the bus and headed to our destination which wasn’t far from our hotel.

11:00 AM – We were the third basketball team to hit the zip line tour as the Wagner men’s team and the Middle Tennessee State women’s team did it before us. We got in line and got suited up for our tour across the jungle.

11:30 AM – Take off! We loaded up a tractor (yes, a tractor) and headed up a mountain where we would begin our tour. Everyone in our travel group with the exceptions of one person did the zip line tour and despite some initial reservations by some (Madinah, Erika – we’re looking at you but big props for you guys doing it!) everyone had a blast. Coach Matt even had a good time despite his fear of heights!

12:45 PM – We headed back to the hotel to enjoy the sun and the beach. Shout out to Coach Alex who had the jet ski idea, that was a definite winner. We spent the rest of the day enjoying each other and the sun and sand!

Tuesday, Aug. 9 – Last Day in Costa Rica

10:00 AM – We had the entire day to ourselves today and most of us decided to hang out poolside or down by the beach. Coach Matt rented us jet skis in the afternoon and we took turns driving and just hanging out with each other beachside and poolside. The coaches even got in on the jet ski action!

6:00 PM – We had our final team dinner at one of the rooms in our hotel. It was really nice and thanks to Coordinator of Player Engagement, Armintie Herrington we played two truths and a lie and had a really fun time getting to know our teammates a little better. There were also lots of good jokes told after dinner too! This has been an unbelievable trip and one we won’t soon forget. Thank you to our athletic director, Ross Bjork, and the rest of our administration (Thank you Mrs. Lynnette) for allowing us this opportunity to play and explore Costa Rica with our teammates. We look forward to seeing everyone at The Pavilion this season.

Next stop: Oxford, Mississippi!







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