Saturday, February 4, 2023

Lady Rebels Advance With A Win Over Arkansas

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

Ole Miss finished the game on a 13-2 run capped by a tip in from senior Kenyotta Jenkins and earned a 62-63 win over Arkansas in the opening round of the SEC Tournament on Wednesday (March 5). With the win, Ole Miss earns its first win in the SEC Tournament since 2009-10. The Rebels will take on Auburn on Thursday (March 6) at 8:30 p.m. in second round action. Ole Miss and Auburn met just four days ago, with the Rebels taking a 73-71 overtime victory in Oxford.
Trailing 60-50 with the 4:45 left in the game, Ole Miss (12-19) went to work. Tia Faleru started a 10-2 run with a jumper in the paint. Faleru’s buckets got her teammates Diara Moore and Valencia McFarland going as they both contributed crucial buckets.
Sharpshooter Gracie Frizzell knocked down a critical triple to give Ole Miss its first lead, 61-60, since early in the second half. Arkansas’ Jessica Jackson hit a bucket with under a minute remaining, but it was senior Jenkins who had other ideas and sealed the Rebel victory with a layup.
Faleru led Ole Miss with 16 points and a team-best six rebounds and was joined in double figures by seniors McFarland and Moore with 14 points each, while Jenkins added 10 points in the victory.
Ole Miss had one of its better shooting nights, going 47 percent from the floor although they lost the battle of the boards, 36-31.
Ole Miss came out of the locker room and was led by senior Jenkins who had Ole Miss’ first six points out of halftime. In a game that was as close a game as you could get, featuring six ties and 12 lead changes, the lead was within two possessions for the majority of the half.
The shooting cooled down considerably in the second half for both teams with Ole Miss shooting just 39.3 percent after shooting 55.6 percent in the first frame. The Rebels were able to stay in with some great defense, forcing the Razorbacks into 18 turnovers
Arkansas used an 12-4 run to pull ahead, 60-50, with 4:41 left in the contest, forcing Ole Miss to call a timeout to try and shift the momentum, which they did utilizing defensive pressure.
Ole Miss brought the defensive intensity out of the gates forcing the Razorbacks into four turnovers at the first media timeout. McFarland was the point of attack and had six of Ole Miss’ first 10 points and finished the half with 10 points.
Arkansas took a 19-13 lead behind a 10-2 spurt forcing Ole Miss to call a timeout. Faleru ended a 10-0 Arkansas run with a long jumper, but the Razorbacks jumped out to a 30-19 lead with 7:21 left in the first half.
Ole Miss used some staunch defense to set up their offense and with nine unanswered points Ole Miss turned a once 11-point deficit into just a two-point deficit. Faleru spearheaded the run by taking it to the Hogs in the paint, scoring six of her 10 first-half points during that run.
The score wouldn’t get past two possessions for either team for the final four minutes and Arkansas took a 34-32 halftime lead. The Rebels held the Razorbacks to just four points in the final two minutes.
Ole Miss is back in action at the SEC Tournament on Thursday and will take on No. 6 seed Auburn Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on Sports South. 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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