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Ole Miss Closes NYC Road Trip with a Win at Wagner

Ole Miss closed its two-game road swing in New York City with a 86-49 win over Wagner on Sunday afternoon. Shandricka Sessom (Byhalia, Miss.) led the Rebels for the second consecutive game with 18 points, while Jonell Williams (Palatka, Fla.) tied her career high with nine rebounds.

Ole Miss leading scorer Sessom scored in double figures in for the sixth straight game and was joined in double figures by freshmen Alissa Alston (New Haven, Conn.) and Madinah Muhammad (Chicago, Ill.), who scored 12 points each. Williams, who saw her first game action since the Missouri State game, tallied nine rebounds in 13 minutes amounting to roughly 1.4 rebounds per minute.

Ole Miss dominated the game after halftime scoring 50 points in the third and four quarters while holding the Seahawks (0-4) to 23 points combined in the final two quarters. Ole Miss shot 50.0 percent for the contest and was on fire from the floor to close the game shooting at a .576 clip (19-of-33) to close the game.

The Rebels also got back in the green on the defensive side of the ball; recording 51 rebounds while holding the Seahawks to just 34 rebounds on the afternoon. It marked the first time in the last three outings Ole Miss has outrebounded its opponent.

Madinah Muhammad (Chicago, Ill.) had the hot hand to start the third quarter with the first seven points of the quarter including a triple to get things started. Ole Miss’ three-point shots started falling more consistently as Ole Miss dropped three triples in the first three minutes of action.

From that point on the Rebels cruised as they saw their lead get as high as 39 points as the Rebels moved to .500 and closed out their New York City road trip with two wins.

The game started slow for both teams but Ole Miss used back-to-back triples from Erika Sisk (Oxford, Miss.) and Shequila Joseph (London, England) to pull ahead, 8-1 midway through the first quarter. The Rebels used their increased defensive presence to force the Seahawks to play faster than they wanted causing five Wagner first quarter turnovers.  Wagner cut into the lead late but Ole Miss closed the quarter with several big highlights including a huge block from Kelsey Briggs(Memphis, Tenn.) and a triple from Sessom as time expired to give Ole Miss a 19-16 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.

The home team got as close as three points at the start of the second quarter with a layup from Alexis Smith, but Ole Miss rattled off 10 consecutive points midway through the quarter and saw its lead expand as high as 14 points, en route to a 36-26 halftime lead

From The Head Coach
On the game … 
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a game in college where the opposing team took over the crowd. It’s a small gym and even their fans were cheering for our team. I told the team that was respect and a testament to how hard they played. W didn’t play the scoreboard. We could have easily come out and coasted to a 10 point lead but we didn’t we came out with new energy and kept going and going and the next thing you know the gym was rocking. It was fun for our team. We have a lot of momentum going home and we really couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our trip.”

 On playing five freshman at one point … 
“That’s going to happen a lot, we’ve got five of them so that may happen. We have some sophomores like Kiara Golden, who didn’t play a lot last year so she’s like a freshman. Even Shandricka Sessom, as good as she’s been playing, once we hit SEC play last year she had a concussion and she never really got back in the rotation. You have players that are learning each other. We’re starting to get it a little bit defensively. We were down at the half on the boards and ended up winning 51-34. We’re starting to get it a little on the defensive end and that’s scary for a lot of opponents.”

On the overall trip  … 
“It was an unbelievable trip. Our team is starting to come together as a team. The bench was going wild for every basket we scored. They are having fun. They are young — they are babies. They are just youthful and they don’t know what they can do and can’t do.  We’re having to help them every step of the way. I told them I got on them during our losing streak because I know the potential they we have and everyone saw a glimpse of it tonight, but there is so much more. We’ve got to keep pushing every day to get better and if we’ll do that we have a pretty good chance to be special when it comes to the end. We are a dangerous team and are explosive offensively.”

Rebel Sidelines
-Today’s game is the first meeting between Wagner and Ole Miss and is just the fourth team Ole Miss has ever faced out of the Northeast Conference. Ole Miss is 4-0 against teams from the NEC.

-With the win Ole Miss moves back to .500 with seven games left in the non-conference season. With wins in the next seven Ole Miss can start conference action with a 10-3 record, posting 10 non-conference wins for the third straight season.

-Ole Miss kept its lineup the same for the third consecutive game. It’s the first time this season the Rebels have kept the same lineup for more than two games.

-Shandricka Sessom recorded her sixth straight game in double figures this season with 18 points. She has recorded double figures in her last seven games dating back to last season.

-Jonell Williams made her first game appearance since the Missouri State game. She had nine rebounds and averaged 1.4 rebounds per minutes after playing 13 minutes.

-Madinah Muhammad and Alissa Alston each recorded their second career games in double figures with 12 points each.

-Of Ole Miss’ 12 players that played 11 scored points and grabbed a rebound.

Up Next
Ole Miss returns to Oxford and Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for a matchup with Western Kentucky. The game tips off at 6 pm and will be on SEC Network+ with Armintie Herrington and Richard Cross on the call.  Ole Miss fans can listen to live audio on OleMissSports.com or on 105.1 FM in Oxford or 105.2 in Batesville.

Keep Up With the Rebels
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 at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole MissWBB.   Fans can also follow Ole Miss women’s basketball head coach Matt Insell on Twitter at @minsell.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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