KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team came up short in a 70-94 road loss to No. 8/8 Tennessee on Thursday (Jan. 9) night. Ole Miss’ Shequila Joseph, Diara Moore, Gracie Frizzell and Amber Singletary each had nine points while Tia Faleru led the way with nine rebounds to go along with eight points.
The Rebels came out the locker room fired up and scored the first two buckets of the half, forcing the Lady Volunteers to call a timeout less than a minute into the half.
Danielle McCray gave Ole Miss (9-7, 0-2 SEC) a huge lift to open the second half. After going scoreless in the first half, she had six of Ole Miss’ first eight points of the second half but the Rebels couldn’t find a way to stop Tennessee (12-2, 2-1 SEC), dropping their third game in the last four outings.
For the game, Ole Miss shot 34.6 percent (27-of-78) and had 40 rebounds, while the home team shot 48.6 percent (27-of-72) and grabbed a game-best 56 rebounds.
After winning the tip, Ole Miss scored the first points of the game behind a basket underneath from Tia Faleru. Faleru had the Rebels first four points, but the home team jumped out to a 10-4 lead at the first media timeout.
Tennessee extended its lead to 13 points, but the Rebels kept battling and putting the pressure on the defensive end Ole Miss was able to find some seams this way freeing up some space for Valencia McFarland and Diara Moore to drive the ball.
Ole Miss was able to get the lead to seven points at the 6:44 mark with a jumper and a pair of free throws from Joseph but Tennessee closed the half on a 9-2 run sparked by triples from Andraya Carter and Ariel Massengale to take a 45-29 halftime lead.
Joseph, fresh off a career-high 21 points against Missouri, was key to the Ole Miss offense in the first half, scoring nine first-half points to lead the Rebels. Ole Miss struggled to match the Tennessee size on glass with the Lady Vols owning a 31-21 rebounding advantage and holding Ole Miss to just 34.3 (12-of-34) shooting in the first stanza.
Ole Miss closes its two-game road swing on Sunday (Jan. 12) when it travels to Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. at Alabama’s Foster Auditorium. For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
— Ole Miss Sports Information
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