Ole Miss Opens SEC Action on Thursday with Missouri

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OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 31, 2013

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The Rebels will open the 2014 SEC slate when the Missouri Tigers make the trip to Oxford and the Tad Smith Coliseum on Thursday (Jan. 2). Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Fans can follow the action with in-game tweets (@OleMissWBB) and also with live stats on OleMissSports.com.

Game 15: Ole Miss (9-5) vs Missouri (11-2)
Date: January 2, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. (CT)
Location: Oxford, Miss. (Tad Smith Coliseum)
Series:
Series tied, 1-1
Streak: Missouri has won 1

Starting Five
1. Ole Miss closed out the 2013-14 non-conference slate with a resounding 99-69 win over Austin Peay on Monday. The win was the ninth of the season for the Rebels, equaling the teams win total from 2012-13. Ole Miss closed non-conference action with a 9-5 record, two more non-conference wins than last season.

2. The Rebels open SEC action at home for the first time since the 2011-12 season on Thursday. Ole Miss is searching for its first win in its SEC opener since defeating Vanderbilt, 72-67 to open the 2010-11 SEC slate. Ole Miss is 4-6 in SEC openers over the last 10 seasons and 7-3 in SEC home openers in that span.

3. Valencia McFarland scored 22 points to lead the Rebels against Austin Peay. It was her fifth game of 20+ this season and her 18th career game of 20 or more points. Ole Miss has had a player score 20+ in each of its last four games and seven of its last eight games.  For the first time this season, Ole Miss had two players with 20+ vs. Austin Peay.

4. Freshman Bretta Hart tallied the first double-double for an Ole Miss freshman with a career-best 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Lady Governors. Hart joins Shequila Joseph as Ole Miss freshmen to score in double figures this season.

5. The Rebels were a point shy of eclipsing the century mark against Austin Peay with a season-high 99 points. It was the second time Ole Miss scored 90+ points this season, as the Rebels scored 96 against Southeastern Louisiana. The last time Ole Miss scored 100 points at home was against Winston Salem State during the 2009-10 season.

Ole Miss vs. Missouri Notables
-This will be the third meeting between Ole Miss and Missouri with the series deadlocked at 1-1 after a 73-72 overtime game last season in Oxford. Both of the games in this series have taken place in Oxford and later this season, Ole Miss will make its first ever trip to Columbia, Missouri.

-Although Ole Miss doesn't have any players from Missouri and the Tigers have no players hailing from Missouri, Ole Miss sports information director, Jessica Poole, is a 2005 Missouri graduate and spent her undergrad years working in the Missouri athletic media relations office, working with the women's basketball team.

A Win Would
-Give the Rebels their first SEC win since defeating Florida, 88-81, last season. Additionally, it would be Ole Miss' first win in a SEC opener since the 2011-12 season when they defeated Vanderbilt. A win would also extend Ole Miss' home win streak to seven straight.

A Loss Would
-Be the third straight loss in a SEC opener for the Rebels and snap Ole Miss' current six-game home win streak. The loss would also give the Tigers their second consecutive win in Oxford.  

Scouting Missouri
Missouri enters the SEC opener with an 11-2 record after defeating Western Illinois, 75-60 on Sunday (Dec. 22). The Tigers are led by Bri Kulas who is averaging 17.2 points per game. Morgan Eye is the other Tiger in double figures with 11.4 points per game. Jordan Frericks leads the rebounding efforts and is averaging 8.8 rebounds per game, while Kulas is grabbing 5.8 rebounds per game. The Tigers are averaging 75.8 point per game and 43.5 rebounds per game. Additionally, Missouri is hitting .383 of their shots from long range led by Morgan Eye who is shooting .442 (42-of-95) percent from behind the arc. Head coach Robin Pingeton is in her fourth season on the Missouri sidelines.  

About Ole Miss
Ole Miss enters SEC action with a 9-5 record after defeating Austin Peay, 99-69, on Monday (Dec. 30) to close out the non-conference slate. The win was the sixth consecutive win for Ole Miss at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Tia Faleru continues to lead the Ole Miss offense with 16.8 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game. Joining Faleru in double figures are Valencia McFarland (16.1) and Diara Moore (11.9) points per game. Danielle McCray is helping Faleru clean the boards and is grabbing 6.0 rebounds per game as Ole Miss' second-leading rebounder. As a team, Ole Miss is averaging 76.6 points per game and 45.9 rebounds per game.

Up Next
The Rebels will hit the road for their next two games, traveling to Tennessee for a televised contest on Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. (CT). Ole Miss concludes the road swing at Alabama on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m.  

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