Women's Hoops Opens Season Friday At 11 A.M.

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Nikki Byrd (Robert Jordan)
Nikki Byrd (Robert Jordan)

Nov. 9, 2011

Ole Miss Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Ole Miss (0-0) vs. North Florida (0-0)

Date: November 11, 2011
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Arena: Tad Smith Coliseum
Television: None
Radio: 105.5 FM (Graham Doty)
Gametracker: OleMissSports.com
Live Video: RebelVision

Series: First Meeting

Quick Hits
- Ole Miss opens the 2011-12 season on Friday, November 11 at home hosting the University of North Florida.
- The Rebels return four starters and 10 letterwinners from last season's squad.
- Sophomore Valencia McFarland has earned two preseason honors being named to the All-SEC Second Team by the league's media and to the All-SEC Second Team by the league's coaches.
- The Rebels' top scorer returning is Valencia McFarland (13.3 ppg) and the leading rebounder returning is sophomore Pa'Sonna Hope (6.6 rpg).
- The team welcomes five newcomers, including the nation's 85th-best recruit according to ESPN HoopGurlz, Danielle McCray.  As a whole, the incoming class is ranked as the 45th-best incoming class in the nation this season by ESPN HoopGurlz.
- Head coach Renee Ladner enters her fifth season at the helm. She has a career record of 58-65 overall and 21-39 in SEC play.

Ole Miss Opens 2011-12 at Home Friday
The Ole Miss Rebels will open the 2011-12 season at home on Friday against North Florida.  The game will tip at 11 a.m. and will serve as the team's annual Kid's Day Game where all kids eighth grade and under will get into the game for free. 
About Ole Miss
The Rebels return 10 letterwinners and four starters from its 2010-11 team. The team also welcomes five newcomers in a class that was ranked as the 45th best incoming class in the nation by ESPN HoopGurlz.  Head coach Renee Ladner enters her fifth season at the helm. 

Ole Miss in Season Openers
Ole Miss is 3-1 in season openers under Renee Ladner and is 31-6 all-time.  The Rebels have won their last three season openers and have not lost a season opener at home since 1998.

Ole Miss vs. North Florida
This will be the first meeting between Ole Miss and North Florida.

A Look at North Florida
North Florida ended last season with a 13-17 record and an 11-9 mark in Atlantic Sun play.  The Ospreys return four starters, including their top scorer from a year ago in Brittany Kirkland who averaged 13.9 points per game, and 10 letterwinners.  This season, North Florida defeated Valdosta State, 57-41, in an exhibition game on November 5.    
A win Friday Would .....
- Give Ole Miss it's fourth season opening win under fifth-year head coach Renee Ladner.

- Give Ole Miss it's first win at home in eight games, since a January 2 win over Vanderbilt. 
A Loss Friday Would .....
- Give Ole Miss it's first season-opening loss at home since 1998.

- Keep Ole Miss winless in its last nine games, dating back to February 6 of last year. 

McFarland Named To All-SEC Team
Sophomore point guard Valencia McFarland was named to the All-SEC Second Team by the media the SEC announced in October.  McFarland was also named to the All-SEC Coaches Second Team in November.
McFarland Plays With Team USA
Sophomore point guard Valencia McFarland played in the Pan American Games with Team USA in October.  McFarland set a Team USA Pan Am Games record with seven steals against Argentina.   She played in three of the team's four games and averaged 2.7 points, 2.0 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game. 

Ladner Two Wins Away From 60 At Ole Miss
Fifth-year head coach Renee Ladner enters 2011-12 with 58 career wins and is two wins away from 60 for her career.  She recorded her  50th career win at Ole Miss last season with the Rebels' 69-60 win over Sam Houston State in the championship game of the Inn at Ole Miss Classic.  Ladner is the fourth all-time winningest coach in Ole Miss history with 58 wins.  Currently she trails Carol Ross (2003-07, 77 wins); Ron Aldy (1997-2003, 79 wins); and Van Chancellor (1978-1997, 439 wins).

Byrd Nearing 100 Career Games Played
Senior Nikki Byrd enters the 2011-12 season having played in 91 career games.  She has played in at least 29 games over each of her three years at Ole Miss and is the team's active leader in career games played.   

Ole Miss' Newcomers Ranked As a Class
The Rebels incoming class of freshmen for this season, Danielle McCray, Monique Jackson, Gracie Frizzell, Amber Singletary and Tia Faleru, are the 45th best incoming class in the nation this year as ranked by ESPN HoopGurlz.  Ole Miss' incoming class is ranked higher than conference foes Arkansas and Auburn.

Upcoming Schedule
Ole Miss will play at Lamar on Tuesday, November 15 at 7 p.m. followed by a game at home against South Alabama on Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m.

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