By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team came up short against the Belmont Bruins 62-50 in the season opener on Thursday.
Ole Miss (0-1, 0-0 SEC) fell behind early in the first quarter as Belmont took a 13 point lead into the second at 16-3.
“Disappointed by our performance tonight,” coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said. “Not discouraged just disappointed. I felt like we crumbled as soon as we felt adversity.”
McPhee-McCuin added that this team wants to do well this season.
Madison Scott led the Rebels with 16 points and teammate Mimi Reid added 12 points to the stats column.
On the boards, Ole Miss had Scott and Shakira Austin with eight apiece.
In the second quarter, Scott scored 10 of her 16 points on the night. The Rebels matched the Bruins in points scored in the quarter with 21.
Belmont (2-0, 0-0 OVC) had three players in double figures, all led by Destinee Wells with 21 points, while teammates Conley Chinn and Tuti Jones each added 11 and 10 points respectively.
“(Belmont) is an NCAA Tournament team out there,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I was very nervous that was our first test out of the gate. I needed to see where we were so we know where to go.”
At the half, Ole Miss trailed 37-24.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Belmont,” McPhee-McCuin said. Coach Yo added that they look like a veteran team with their style and footwork and the Rebels don’t see that in the SEC outside of Missouri.
The Rebels climbed back in the game in the third and fourth periods behind the play of Scott with her final six points out of the break. In the fourth, Angel Baker scored nine points.
“We need Angel to help us,” McPhee-McCuin said.
Ole Miss finished the game shooting 32.2 percent from the field, went 0-for-5 beyond the arc and only missed one free-throw going 92.3 percent from the line.
Belmont shot 39.3 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from three and 83.3 from the line.
“We will bounce back,” McPhee-McCuin said. “We just have a lot of work to do.”
Ole Miss returns to action on Sunday as they play host to Mississippi Valley State. The tipoff is set for 3 p.m. on SEC Network.