Valencia McFarland scored 22 points to lead Ole Miss
Behind 20 first-half points from Valencia McFarland, and a double-double off the bench from rookie Bretta Hart, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team extended its home win streak to six straight with a 99-69 win over Austin Peay in its final non-conference game on Monday (Dec. 30).
“I’m very pleased with today’s game,” said head coach Matt Insell. “When we locked in defensively at the 12-minute mark in the first half we played really well. We had a lot of kids that contributed big time for us, and I’m proud of them. We were a man down with Tia (Faleru) being out. Bretta Hart and Monique Jackson came in and battled. You can’t beat the effort they brought. Since we got back from the holiday, they have worked hard preparing themselves to help our team win basketball games.”
Ole Miss (9-5) had an outstanding second half, shooting 57.6 percent (19-of-33) from the floor and scoring 49 points, while holding the visitors to just 29 points in the second stanza. The home team also capitalized in the paint and in transition, scoring 46 points in the paint and adding 22 points on fast breaks.
McFarland led the Rebels with a game-best 22 points and was an assist short of her second consecutive double-double with nine assists. Classmate Diara Moore joined her in the 20-point column with 20 points, her second 20-point game of the season. Today’s game marked the first time this season, Ole Miss has had two players score 20 points in a game.
The Ole Miss bench was also quite impressive as rookie Hart posted her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, becoming the first Rebel freshman to have a double-double this season. Kenyotta Jenkins was also in double figures with a season-best 13 points and five rebounds in just 14 minutes while reserve Monique Jackson added a season-best 10 rebounds. In total, the Ole Miss bench scored a season-best 35 points.
The Rebels, who are 7-2, when leading at halftime, extended their 10-point halftime lead to 17 points by opening the second half with a 12-5 run through the first four minutes of action. Austin Peay (3-10) was able to get the lead to eight with a jumper from Tiasha Gray and a layup by Kristen Stainback, but that was as close as the visitors would get as Ole Miss’ lead swelled to 35 points en route to the Rebels ninth win of the season.
Austin Peay took early advantage of the Rebels size in the middle early, with Tearra Banks scoring six of the visitors first 13 points before Ole Miss settled in on the defensive end
Out of the first media timeout, Gracie Frizzell, who started today’s game, nailed a triple from the top of the key to tie the game at 13-13. The visitors went on a 10-3 run to take a seven-point lead before Ole Miss started to cut into it with a three-point play from McFarland coupled with several big rebounds from Hart and a triple from Moore.
With the game tied at 27-27, the Rebels went on a 6-1 run to take a 33-28 lead at the 7:35 mark. The run was sparked by a steal and an old-fashioned three-point play from Moore, but the visitors tied it up at 33-33 with 6:45 left before the Rebels closed the half on a 17-7 run to take a 50-40 halftime lead.
The Rebels open the 2014 SEC slate on Thursday (Jan.2) when they welcome Missouri to 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 101 consecutive games and her consecutive games started streak to 91 games … This is the third early game for the Rebels this season. Ole Miss played at 11 a.m. against La Tech (Dec. 4.) for the annual School Kids game and at Noon against Mississippi Valley State (Dec. 7), Ole Miss moves to 3-0 in game starting at Noon or earlier … The Rebels conclude the non-conference slate with a 9-5 record. The nine wins ties the teams win total from 2012-13 … Gracie Frizzell started her fourth game tonight … Bretta Hart posted a career-high 13 points and 10 rebounds … For the second consecutive game the Rebels had two double-figure rebounders … Ole Miss also reached 50 rebounds for the fourth time this season … Ole Miss is 9-1 when scoring 70 or more points … Ole Miss’ 99 points is a season-high.
– Written by OleMissSports.com