Friday, December 2, 2022

Rebels Fall to No. 18 Kentucky

Photo by Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics
Photo by Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

Junior Tia Faleru picked up her third double-double in the last four games, with a career-high  31 points and 16 rebounds but the Ole Miss women’s basketball team dropped a 108-78 contest to No. 18/18 Kentucky on Thursday (Feb. 13)
Faleru’s 31 points are the most for an Ole Miss player since Kayla Melson had 30 during the 2010-11 season. Joining Faleru in double figures was Valencia McFarland with 21 points, her 10th 20-point outing this season.
Out of the halftime break, the home team used a 13-3 run to extend its halftime lead to 62-42, forcing Ole Miss to call a timeout. Gracie Frizzell, who was scoreless in the first half, drained two triples to get the lead to 14 but the Wildcats used Jennifer O’Neill’s hot hand as the Wildcats earned their fifth straight win over the Rebels.
The game started fast for both teams and as expected it was a chess match from the outset. Ole Miss got things going with a pair of free throws from Tia Faleru, and then Shequila Joseph drained her first shot, a triple from the right elbow to give the Rebels an early lead.
Both teams wanted to get up and down the floor in transition and with the game tied 12-12 at the first media timeout, Kentucky used a 7-2 burst to pull ahead 19-14 at the 13:23 mark, but a three-point play from McFarland and a bucket from Kenyotta Jenkins tied the game for the fourth time in the first half.
Trailing 23-21 midway through the half, the home team used a 12-0 run to take a 35-21 lead – the largest of the half for either team, while holding Ole Miss without a field goal for nearly four minutes.
Ole Miss, kept themselves in the game by camping out at the free throw line in the final minutes of the game, scoring 10 points from the line to close the half. Faleru, the Rebels leading scorer at the break with 14 points and eight rebounds, just two rebounds shy of her 13th double-double, had five of Ole Miss’ 10 free throws.
Kentucky used a 5-0 spurt to close the half, highlighted by a buzzer beater from Jennifer O’Neill, to take a 48-29 lead into the halftime break.
The Rebels will take the weekend off before returning home on Thursday (Feb. 20) for the annual “Tickled Pink at the Tad Pad” game vs. Texas A&M.  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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