OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team, playing in front of 4,491 fans for the 11th Annual School Kids Game, took a 16-point lead into the halftime break and didn’t look back as they cruised to a 79-68 win over Louisiana Tech on Wednesday (Dec.4) morning.
Ole Miss (6-4) had four players in double figures and was led by Tia Faleru, who had a team-high 19 points. Joining her in double-figures were: Valencia McFarland with 16 points,Diara Moore with 13 and Danielle McCray with 10. McCray led the way for the Rebels on the glass with nine rebounds, just one shy of her second career double-double.
“Louisiana Tech has a great team,” said head coach Matt Insell. “Their record doesn’t show how good of a team they are and they’ve played a lot of good teams. Really, this was a dominating win for us. We had a six-minute spell in the second half that we can fix and I take the blame for that. We’ll get better from this game. That’s five in a row for us, and we’re at full strength and ready to go.”
Playing in front of the third largest crowd to see a women’s basketball game at the Tad Pad, the Rebels didn’t disappoint. The visiting Lady Techsters scored the first points of the game with a jumper from JaQuan Jackson, but Faleru tied the game with bucket of her own on the next possession.
With the game tied at 7-7 the Rebels went on an 11-0 run, sparked by a layup from Danielle McCray to take an 11-point lead, which they wouldn’t give up the remainder of the contest.
Shequila Joseph and Gracie Frizzell both drilled two triples in the first half to help the Rebels keep their lead in double-digits, as the home team took a 16-point halftime lead en route to its fifth consecutive victory and fourth straight at home.
Ole Miss dominated in the paint, scoring 44 points on the inside and also took advantage of Louisiana Tech giveaways, scoring 22 points off Tech miscues. True to the way head coach Matt Insell wants to play, Ole Miss took advantage in transition scoring 20 fast break points in the contest.
Ole Miss extended its lead to 22 points – the largest of the game – with a few minutes off the game clock in the second half behind buckets from Kenyotta Jenkins and Faleru.
LA Tech (1-6) made a late push, getting the lead down to single digits with a minute remaining, but Ole Miss sealed their fifth straight win with a pair from McFarland at the free throw line.
LA Tech’s Whitney Frazier led all-scorers with 24 points as LA Tech dropped its second consecutive game.
Ole Miss concludes its two-game homestand on Saturday when it welcomes Mississippi Valley State for an afternoon matinee. Tipoff is set for Noon at the Tad Smith Coliseum. For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
Valencia McFarland extends her scoring streak to 97 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 87 games … Ole Miss moves to 5-1 on their home floor this season … Today’s game was the 11th annual School Kids Game, it started at the 2002-03 season when Carol Ross took over the program … Diara Moore was in double figures for the second straight game … Tia Faleru and Valencia McFarland were in double figures for the eighth time this season … The win was the first in the series against Louisiana Tech for the Rebels since the 1991-92 season, its snaps a five game winning streak by Louisiana Tech … Ole Miss’ five-game winning streak is the most consecutive for the Rebels since the 2010-11 season, when they also won five straight. The last time Ole Miss won more than five in a row was in 2008-09.