HEMPSTEAD, NY – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team saw Hofstra come back from a 15-point first half deficit as the Rebels fell on the road to the Pride 72-63 in the New York Life Holiday Invitational Friday night.
With the loss Ole Miss fell to 6-4 while Hofstra improved to 2-7.
Ole Miss led by 15 in the first half before Hofstra came back to within two at the half. In the second half, the teams traded baskets and neither team led by more than four until the Pride went up 46-52 with 9:43 to play. From that point, Hofstra did not replenish its lead and went on to post the win.
Valencia McFarland recorded a season-high nine assists in the game for her 29th career game with at least five assists. Marbra tied her career high with 12 points and added nine boards while Tia Faleru recorded nine points and nine rebounds.
For the game, Ole Miss shot 36.8 percent (25-68) from the floor while Hofstra shot 38.4 percent (28-73).
The Rebels used a 9-0 run, including a three from Maggie McFerrin, over a five minute span to go up 22-7 with 10:43 remaining in the first half.
Hofstra cut Ole Miss’ lead to four, 26-22, with 3:37 left in the first half and the Pride tied the game at 28-28 with 55 seconds left in the half.
A jumper from Marbra with six seconds left before the half gave Ole Miss a 30-28 lead at the break. Marbra led the Rebels with six points and five rebounds at the half. Tia Faleru added five points and five rebounds while Gracie Frizzell scored five points.
The Rebels shot 39.3 (11-28) percent from the floor in the first half while Hofstra shot 33.3 percent (13-39).
Hofstra took its first lead of the game since they lead 2-0 as they went up 34-32 with 16:39 left in the game.
Ole Miss will closeout play in the New York Life Holiday Invitational tomorrow with a 2 p.m. CT game against Northwestern.
Gators Win Holiday Classic
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Redshirt sophomore Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) scored a career-high 18 points and guided Florida to an 81-75 victory over Central Michigan in the championship game of the Gator Holiday Classic on Friday night in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after helping Florida withstand an intense late rally by the Chippewas, who whittled the Gator’s 17-point lead with 5:50 remaining down to six with 2:06 on the clock.
With Florida (10-3) clinging to a 76-70 lead, senior Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.), who was named to the All-Tournament Team, converted a tough inside bucket. CMU missed on its next possession, but the Gators turned the ball over and that same sequence happened on the next trip down the court, as the Gators committed three turnovers in a 54-second span with Jalisa Olive finally able to make UF pay as she converted layup and had CMU within six points, 78-72, with 27 seconds remaining.
The Chippewas (5-5) then fouled redshirt-freshman Carlie Needles (Highlands Ranch, Col.), who converted 3-of-4 free throws over the next 13 seconds and gave Florida an 81-72 lead with 10 seconds left.
CMU’s Jessica Green knocked down a three-pointer with four seconds remaining to cap the game’s scoring, as Florida captured its third consecutive Gator Holiday Classic title, as well as its 18th in the 21 times the event has crowned a team champion.
“We didn’t want anyone to leave before the trophy presentation, so we decided to make it really interesting down the stretch and I think we did a good job of that,” UF head coach Amanda Butler joked. “Seriously, we beat a very good team. I’m proud of that, no question. Sometimes our wins aren’t as pretty as we hoped they’d be. This one had its spots and its moments, but it had its ugly spots also. I think for this team, sometimes learning hard lessons will be the most valuable way for us to grow. It is definitely a process and a journey. Like I said, we beat a good team and we want to play good teams. We want to be challenged and we were challenged tonight and came out with a win and that’s what’s most important.”
Lewis collected a double-double for the second time this season and in her career, pulling down 10 boards to go along with her 18 points, shooting 8-of-13 from the floor.
“Yesterday, I didn’t think I played bad, things just didn’t go my way,” shared Lewis, who scored just two points with three rebounds during Thursday’s game. “Today was just suited for who I am. I’m a slippery player and I just got inside the seams where I could. When you have good players like Jennifer George down low and penetrators like Sydney and me, it’s easy to get shots off. Rebounding tonight, my goal was to get four offensive rebounds, which I did.”
Moss scored 16 points in Friday’s championship game after netting a game-high 17 points on Thursday.
Coming out of the half, Lewis collected back-to-back buckets with a layup coming off an inbound play, and a corner jumper to extend the Gator lead, 40-28.
CMU’s Jessica Green and Crystal Bradford combined for six points at the 15:06 mark to cut the Gator lead to nine. Needles answered with a jumper in the lane, but Central Michigan was able to enhance their pressure in the backcourt on the Gators and force turnovers.
Jessica Schroll, who finished with 15 points on the night and a spot on the All-Tournament Team, laid in a shot to cut the Florida lead to seven, 46-39. With an intense period of scrappy play, Bradford, who tallied 10 points for Central Michigan, nailed a three to draw the Chippewas within striking distance of the Gators.
After the Gators found their way to the free throw line for the first time in the game at the 13:14 mark, CMU’s Taylor Johnson, who ended the night with 11 points, converted on a layup to cut the lead to the smallest it had been all evening, 49-46.
Florida fired back with an eight-point run thanks to two lay-ins by George, another trey from redshirt junior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) and a free throw from Moss.
Junior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) was having a solid game until she was whistled for two offensive fouls and earned a technical foul in a three-second span, and with 7:59 remaining fouled out of the game for the first time in her collegiate career. Bonds went to the bench with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting with eight assists and five rebounds.
The momentum easily could have shifted in Central Michigan’s favor with Florida’s floor general unable to return to action. The Chippewas, however, were only able to convert on 1-of-3 free throws on the Bonds’ foul calls and Florida held a 59-51 lead.
That’s when Moss stepped up her game, scoring seven points in a 2:09 span.
Needles came up with a steal and Moss launched a desperation three-pointer which found the bottom of the net as the shot clock expired. Moss then drove and finished in the lane and Lewis connected on another inbounds play to put the Florida lead at 68-53 with 6:14 remaining.
Free throws also came into play in the closing 6:18 of the contest and Florida stepped up and converted 9-of-12, with makes from Moss, George, Needles and January Miller (Orlando, Fla.).
The Chippewas managed to give the Gators a scare in the final three minutes as they went on a 12-6 run, getting a pair of layups and three-pointers from Green, who finished with 12 points.
Florida shot a season-best 55.4 percent (31-56) from the floor during the game, including a 6-of-15 effort from the three-point arc and 13-of-19 showing from the free throw line. The Gators also held a 39-32 rebound edge, but committed a season-high 29 turnover that the led to 25 points.
Central Michigan shot 40.3 percent overall, including a 48.6 percent mark (17-35) during the second half when it outscored Florida, 50-45, in spite of the Gator hitting 57.7 percent in the final 20 minutes.
The Gators and the Chippewas got off to a sloppy start as play began where turnovers were costly for both teams in the first two minutes. Central Michigan struck first, by not only winning the tip, but also converting for two with a Green layup. George scored first for the Gators by hitting a layup at the 18:20 mark. Svete came out firing as she hit a three to put Florida out front of Central Michigan, 7-4.
Florida led 11-6 into the first media timeout with a pair of Lewis layups. Bonds had back-to-back buckets with a floater and her first three-pointer of the night which put the Gators up 16-9 at the 12:15 mark.
A Moss turnover resulted in a Johnson trey for Central Michigan which put the Chippewas back to within one at 16-15. From there, the Gators held the Chippewas scoreless for 5:15 while Miller collected a three-point basket and Lewis netted four more points for the Orange and Blue to extend their advantage to 25-19.
The Gators jumped out to a 10-point lead on the Chippewas nearing the close of the half when Moss sunk one from beyond the arc with 2:38 remaining. Miller and Needles added two more buckets apiece to make it a 34-25 advantage. Bonds dictated the Gators tempo in the first half, and solidified that momentum when she hit a fade-away jumper at the buzzer to send the Gators to the locker room with a 36-25 lead.
Florida takes a few days away from the court for a holiday break before playing host to Holy Cross on Fri., December 28 at 7 p.m. in the O’Connell Center. That game is the final non-conference outing for the Gators, who begin Southeastern Conference action on January 3 at nationally-ranked Kentucky.
Arkansas Picks Up a Win
FAYETTEVILLE – Dominique Robinson, Jhasmin Bowen and Dominique Wilson had season-best nights leading the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team to an 80-41 win over Northwestern State giving head coach Tom Collen a birthday victory.
Arkansas moved to 11-1 on the year with the 39-point win over NSU (4-5).
“Overall, I think we are in pretty good shape at this point in the season,” Collen said. “I really like the way we played the last three games. We were able to make a lot of adjustments on the fly and I was pleased with that.”
Bowen scored 17 points in 24 minutes to lead the Razorbacks while Robinson added 15 points going 5-for-5 from the floor including 2-for-2 from three-point range.
“It was a great game for Dominique,” Collen said. “She has battled so hard to return from injury and she’s been practicing harder and getter better.”
The duo led four players in double figures with senior Sarah Watkins adding 14 and Wilson added a career-best 12 points for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas dominated nearly every statistical category shooting 49.1 percent for the game on 28-for-57 from the floor. Arkansas was 18-for-26 from the line and outrebounded NSU 45-21 in the game.
Arkansas won the tip and scored first eventually opening a nine point lead but the Razorback coaching staff was not pleased with the execution early in the contest.
Collen took a timeout just inside the five minute mark and made wholesale lineup changes subbing for all five starters in an effort to find an offensive rhythm and a defensive stop. Early turnovers and cold shooting hurt the effort but Arkansas made up for it with solid rebounding.
The Razorbacks went into the locker room with a 38-25 lead paced by Robinson’s season-best 12 points. They ended the half with a good shooting effort that boosted their shooting percentage to 48.1 on 13-for-27 from the floor. Although they had 15 turnovers at the break, Arkansas also had 20 rebounds and held NSU to just 10 in the first frame.
In addition, the Razorbacks created opportunities at the free throw line shooting 60 percent going 9-for-15 from the line in the first half. NSU only got to the line five times and hit all of their bonus shots.
Arkansas was more focused on offense to start the second half and their aggressive play led to points early as they continued to stretch the lead.
As the half wore on, Collen continued to platoon players in making liberal substitutions keeping fresh legs on the floor. The Razorbacks put together an 8-0 in just over 1:30 around the seven minute mark as they put the game out of reach for NSU.
The Razorbacks outscored NSU 42-16 in the second half shooting 50 percent on 15-for-30 from the floor.
Arkansas breaks for four days before returning to Bud Walton for practice on Dec. 26 and 27 in preparation for Coppin State Dec. 28.
Notre Dame Ends Texas A&M's Win Streak
LAS VEGAS - No. 22 Texas A&M (8-4) saw its eight-game win streak snapped on Friday night with an 83-74 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame (9-1) in the championship game of the World Vision Classic Cox Pavilion. It was the first meeting between the two teams since A&M defeated Notre Dame, 76-70, at the 2011 NCAA National Championship game on April 5, 2011, in Indianapolis.
A&M junior center Kelsey Bone led all players with 28 points and also had a team-high 10 rebounds. She was named to the all-tournament team, having averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds per game and shooting 39-of-46 during the three-day tournament. Courtney Walker and Kristi Bellock also posted double-figure points against the Irish with 12 and 11, respectively. A&M senior point guard Adrienne Pratcher led all players with eight assists.
Notre Dame had four players in double-digit points, including tournament MVP Skylar Diggins, who had 24 points. Natalie Achonwa added 22 points and led all players with 14 rebounds. Twelve of Achonwa's points came on free throws as Notre Dame was 21-of-25 from the line while A&M was 6-of-10.
The Aggies got out to a quick start, jumping out to a 14-6 lead in the first five minutes, but it would be A&M's largest lead of the night. In a game that saw seven ties and seven lead changes, the experienced Irish began to chip away, taking their first lead at 23-21 at the 8:20 mark. A&M held its last lead of the half at 27-26 before Notre Dame made several short runs, with Aggie freshman guard Peyton Little hitting two clutch three-pointers to keep A&M within striking distance at 36-33.
Notre Dame got a bucket at the end of the half to take a 44-37 lead heading into the intermission, but A&M would start strong in the second half to retake the lead at 48-46 with 15:59 remaining following a basket by Bone. Just as the youthful Aggies took the lead, Notre Dame countered, erupting for 13 unanswered points to put the Irish up, 59-48, at the 11:16 mark. A&M twice managed to cut the gap to five points, the last coming at 65-60 with 7:21 left in the game. Notre Dame went on to build its largest lead at 77-65 with 4:02 remaining, and the Aggies could get no closer than nine points for the reminder of the game.
The Aggies will take a break for Christmas and then return to Reed Arena on Dec. 28 to play host to Prairie View A&M. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.