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Rebel Women's Basketball Team Claim 2014 Nugget Classic

Tia Faleru and Rebels win the Nugget Classic. Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy Ole Miss Athletics
Tia Faleru and Rebels win the Nugget Classic. Photo courtesy of Josh McCoy Ole Miss Athletics

Feeding off a big Egg Bowl victory by the football team before the championship game of the Nugget Classic, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team defeated Nevada 77-66 to claim the 2014 Nugget Classic title. The win was the first in-season tournament win for Ole Miss since 2011-12 and moved the Rebels to 6-1 on the season.
Tia Faleru of Ozark, Alabama, rebounded from a two-point outing against Utah with 18 points and eight rebounds en route to a spot on the Nugget Classic All-Tournament team. Nugget Classic MVP, Toree Thompson of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, added 15 points and had 38 points over the course of Ole Miss’ two wins. Gracie Frizzell Little Rock, Arkansas, was also in double figures for the second time this season with 13 points and three triples.
Ole Miss’ defense was its stalwart throughout the tournament and today’s game was no different. The Rebels forced the Wolf Pack into 25 turnovers and scored 21 points off of the miscues, which helped the Rebels who didn’t have their best shooting night at just 38.0 percent (27-of-71).
Coming out of the break, the Ole Miss extended its lead, but Nevada made it interesting late by draining a couple three-pointers to loosen the Ole Miss defense. With the Rebels up 67-60 at the final media timeout, Ole Miss used a 10-6 spurt courtesy of buckets from Faleru and Frizzell to pull ahead. Thompson then sealed the game at the line going 4-of-4 in the final 45 seconds for the victory.
Ole Miss started the game off with a very fast past which was in stark contrast to the Utah game, Ole Miss jumped out to an early 9-1 lead behind five early points from Thompson, but the home team scored seven unanswered to make it a one point game at the 16:31 mark. From that point on, the game was a track meet as both teams got up and down the court while trading buckets.
The teams traded baskets for the better part of the first half before Ole Miss started to pull away late in the half. Sparked by a triple from A’Queen Hayes (Horn Lake, Miss.) , Ole Miss used an 8-0 run to take a double-digit lead, 31-20, but the Wolf Pack wasn’t done and with six straight cut the lead to six points just before the break.
Typical of a Matt Insell Ole Miss squad, the Rebels dug in on the defensive end and went to forward Faleru who nailed the last four points of the half, sending the Rebels into the locker room with a 41-32 lead.
Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.), who was scoreless in the game against Utah, made some noise in the first half going coast-to-coast for a bucket and the following that by forcing a turnover, which sparked a 7-0 Ole Miss run which extended the lead to 21-16 midway through the half.
Ole Miss will stay on the road for its next outing, heading to Bowling Green, Ky., for a matchup with the Western Kentucky Lady HIlltoppers on Thursday (Dec. 4). Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. CT from E.A. Diddle Arena. The game will also be televised on the American Sports Network – Ole Miss’ first televised contest of the season.
For ticket information, go online or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587). Keep up to date with the Ole Miss women’s basketball team throughout the season on social media. For all Ole Miss women’s basketball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram. Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information

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