BEYOND THE GAME: McFarland, Frizzell Lift Rebels To Win

Valencia McFarland

Nov. 26, 2013

By Austin Miller,

Ole Miss improved to .500 behind season-high points from senior guard Valencia McFarland and sophomore guard Gracie Frizzell, as the Rebels held off Louisiana-Monroe 78-72 Tuesday night.

It capped a three-game, five-day stretch during which Ole Miss (4-4) went 3-0 with wins over Southeastern Louisiana, Tennessee State and Louisiana-Monroe.

"We dug deep,” head coach Matt Insell said. “This is a big win for our basketball team, for our confidence and toughness. This win will win us a lot more basketball games.”

McFarland recorded her first double-double of the season, the third of her career, finishing with season highs of 23 points and 10 assists in a season-high 36 minutes. It was her third straight game of 20+ points, as she scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half.

“I told the team when we got back from Hawaii that we needed to win three out of three games, and they did that,” Insell said. “A big reason we did that was Valencia McFarland. She took over that basketball game in the second half, and she has done that these last three games. She has stepped up in leading our basketball team, and I couldn’t be more proud of a player than I am her.”

"Coach Matt told me to calm down,” McFarland said. “During the first half, he tried to get me to calm down a lot. In the second half, I calmed down and finished around the rim and got some easy baskets.”

McFarland committed just three turnovers, and the team had just nine in the game, while they scored 24 points off 22 turnovers.

“The way we play and as fast as we play offensively, we’re going to have some turnovers,” Insell said. “I tell them every game, if we can keep under 13-14 turnovers, and we can force the other team into 22-24 turnovers, that will be an advantage for us. We did that tonight, and in the third game in five days.”

The Rebels also got a lift from Frizzell who scored a season-high 17 points, including four 3-pointers, in 38 minutes. She got the start in place of junior forward Danielle McCray who was held out of the game with a back injury. Insell said McCray will be back and ready to go for Saturday’s game at Tulane.

“The way she’s playing right now the last couple of games, more relaxed and making shots, that’s the way I thought she was going to play from the start,” Insell said. “She had some shooting woes early in the year, and I told her to keep shooting. She’s a shooter; that’s what she does. And she has finally found her a rhythm a little bit and slowed down. She had a big game today, but she’s going to have a big one where she makes seven or eight threes, and I feel that coming on for her.”

“We had a player out in Danielle McCray, and some of the girls had to step up, and some girls had to play out of position,” Frizzell said. “We stepped up to the challenge.”

Junior forward Tia Faleru and senior forward Kenyotta Jenkins both battled foul trouble and each picked up four fouls. Faleru finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in just 23 minutes, while Jenkins finished with six points and four rebounds in 18 minutes. In their place, it was an opportunity for freshman Shequila Joseph who responded with nine points and six assists in 24 minutes.

“I told them to find a way to win,” Insell said. “Tia and Kenyotta have been playing well for us. I was very happy that Shequila Joseph got back going today. She had been struggling a lot. We talked a lot this morning about finding ways to get her back going. She looked more comfortable out there today, which helped us when we got in foul trouble.

“Tia and Kenyotta did a great job handling that and pushing through. Tia Faleru’s minutes were down, but when you look at her stat line, if she plays her normal 28-29 minutes, she probably has another double-double.”

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    • Ratings, Exposure Huge for Ole Miss-Alabama

      Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more

    • Rebels Pass First Test in Search of Playoff Berth

      Sunday, September 20, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more

    • Kelly Makes Statement in Big Rebel Win

      Saturday, September 12, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;... read more

    • Big Plays Highlight Season-Opening Win

      Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Football

      Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more

    • Time to Take a Stand

      Monday, August 31, 2015 -

      It's finally week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more

    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more