|Saturday Women's Hoops Results
|Ole Miss 72, Mississippi Valley State 60
|Arkansas 74, Northwestern State 53
|Mississippi State 75, Alabama State 49
|Texas A&M 74, Washington 68
Ole Miss Picks Up Sixth Straight Win By Downing MVSU
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team picked up its sixth consecutive victory with a 72-60 win over in-state foe Mississippi Valley State at the Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday (Dec. 7) afternoon.
Mississippi Valley State made things late interesting by cutting a once 14-point Ole Miss lead to just four-points with 3:55 remaining, but the Rebels rattled off eight unanswered to seal the victory. The six-game winning streak is the longest for Ole Miss since the 2008-09 season.
Valencia McFarland led Rebels with a game-high 20 points, while Tia Faleru picked up her sixth double-double with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Danielle McCray had a career-high 17 points and Diara Moore contributed 12 points for her third consecutive game in double figures.
“I’m very happy to get this win at home and build some momentum for the road games at South Alabama and Baylor,” said head coach Matt Insell. “We go on the road and play at South Alabama, which has a great program. Baylor is a team this year competing for a national championship. It’s going to be a great test and a great measuring stick for us. We need to take care of business in South Alabama and then see how much we have improved against a top 10 team.”
Ole Miss (7-4) won the battle of the intangibles, none more important than second chance point and points off turnovers. The Rebels scored 20 points on second chance attempts and add 16 points off turnovers. Ole Miss forced Mississippi Valley (1-7) into a season-high 24 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well on the afternoon. Ole Miss shot 39.5 percent (30-of-76), while Mississippi Valley State shot 38.9 percent (21-of-54). Ole Miss’ 39.5 percent was its lowest shooting percentage in the last two games.
The Devilettes wouldn’t go away in the second half and cut the Ole Miss lead to single digits with just three minutes off the second half game clock, but the Rebels wouldn’t fold and used a 6-2 spurt to push the lead back into double digits, 47-36, at the under 12 media timeout.
In the first half, Ole Miss found themselves trailing with just a few minutes off the game clock, forcing coach Insell to call a timeout. That was all the motivation the team needed as they went on a 6-0 run to tie the game all while forcing the visitors into three turnovers in a 90 second span, leading to five points for the home team.
The Rebels defense was on point early holding the Devilettes to just one point in a five minute span early in the first half. Holding a 20-14 lead at the 8:11 mark of the half, the Rebels went on an 18-8 run to take a 38-26 lead into halftime. Ole Miss was strong on the defensive end, forcing Mississippi Valley into 16 first half turnovers, resulting in 10 points for the home team.
The Rebels will take some time off for exams before hitting the road for back-to-back contests. Ole Miss opens its two-game road swing at South Alabama on Dec. 16 and will take on No. 9/10 Baylor on Dec. 18. The Baylor game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest. The Rebels are back at home to close out the non-conference slate on Dec. 30 against Austin Peay at 6 p.m. For ticket information, go to OleMissTix.com or call the Ole Miss Ticket Office at 1-888-REB-TKTS (732-8587).
Five Reach Double-Digit Scoring As Razorbacks Win 74-53
FAYETTEVILLE – Jhasmin Bowen tallied 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the season, as the University of Arkansas women's basketball team (10-0) picked up a 74-53 win over Northwestern State (4-3) inside Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday night.
All five Razorback starters reached double-digit scoring for the first time on the season, as Jessica Jackson scored 16 points, Keira Peak and Calli Berna reached 11 points, while McKenzie Adams added 10 points to join Bowen in double figures.
“All in all it was a good win,” head coach Tom Collen said. “I think when you get to the point where you’re 10-0, you win by 21 points and you shoot 46 percent you’ve got to be careful not to get too confident. It’s not the best game we’ve played, but I’m pretty happy with it.”
Bowen reached double figures for the fifth straight game with 75 percent shooting, continuing what has been an offensive emergence for the junior forward as of late.
“She tries to answer the call,” Collen said of Bowen. “She wants to play well and she wants to play well for Arkansas. I can just sense that in her. She was a player that I think came out in the second half and did a great job of imposing her physical will and rebounding.”
Both teams came out with slow offensive starts, as the Razorbacks shot 38 percent (3-8 FG) and the Lady Demons just 18 percent (2-11 FG) over the first five minutes of play. Arkansas took an 8-5 lead, with half of the early points coming from a nice four-point play by Adams who converted a three-point basket plus a foul.
A 7-2 run late midway through the first half helped the Razorbacks extend its lead to 24-17 at the 7:58 mark. Bowen led all scorers with six points on perfect shooting, while Peak came on strong with five points of her own and two rebounds. Arkansas held a 12-to-6 advantage for points in the paint.
The Razorbacks sharpened their shooting over the course of the first half, up to 48 percent from the field and holding a 32-22 lead at the 3:14 mark of the half. Bowen and Jackson combined for 15 of the team’s 32 points. Berna had three points and five rebounds.
The Razorbacks closed the first half with on a 13-5 run to take a 37-25 lead, as Jackson led all scorers with nine points and two rebounds at the break. Berna finished with six points (2-2 3PT), five rebounds and three assists, while Bowen had eight points and three rebounds.
With the Razorbacks held scoreless for three minutes after coming out of the locker room, the Lady Demons out together a 6-2 run and cut the lead back to single digits at 39-31. AU also committed its eighth turnover of the game over the stretch, which NSU converted into nine points off of mistakes.
Berna helped push the Razorback lead back to double digits, as the junior hit a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down and sparked an ensuing 11-2 run for UA to take a 54-36 lead with 10 minutes left to play.
As the run extended to 20-6 over 5:49, UA saw its lead swell to 63-40. Berna finished with 11 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals to orchestrate a 43.8 percent second-half shooting performance by the Razorbacks.
Arkansas resumes a five-game homestand next week by welcoming Tulsa (3-2) to Bud Walton Arena on Dec. 10. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside Bud Walton Arena.
Bulldogs Use Strong First Half To Down Alabama State
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A dominating first-half performance lifted Mississippi State past Alabama State 75-49 in women’s basketball action Saturday night in the Humphrey Coliseum.
In the opening half, the Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the floor and quickly sprinted to 39-12 lead at the intermission. However, in the second half, the Bulldogs continued their recent struggles of putting a game away and were actually outscored by a single point in the final stanza.
“We played well in first half and very poorly in the second,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “Our lack of focus and commitment to detail is very alarming right now. Our inability to put together two good halves is a concern right now. We have a lack of commitment on the defensive end.
“We just had a poor focus defensively in the second half. We have always taken great pride in our defense here. We are allowing way too many things that we have taken pride in, in the past.”
With strong shooting early and a suffocating defense, MSU scored the first 11 points of the game. A 3-pointer and follow-up layup by Kendra Grant capped the run. The Bulldogs followed with a 9-0 run to build a 20-2 advantage with 12:39 left before halftime.
The lead grew to 24 at 29-5 on a jumper by Ketara Chapel with 5:52 left before halftime.
In the opening half, the Bulldogs held the Lady Hornets to four total field goals and 13.3 percent shooting from the field. MSU forced 18 of Alabama State’s 28 turnovers in the opening half.
“Right now we are struggling to have continuity with our substitutions,” Schaefer said. “You forget about how well you played in the first half because of how bad things got in the second half. We allowed 37 points in the second half and that is not acceptable.”
In the second half, the Lady Hornets shot 38.7 percent from the field and remained in the contest.
“It is all about lack of focus on the defensive end,” MSU freshman guard Dominique Dillingham said. “We have to find a way to be consistent for two halves. That is what we are working on right now.”
Another basket by Grant ran the lead to a game’s best 29 points at 54-25 with 11:05 left in the contest. Alabama State followed with one final run but got no closer than 22 points at 56-34 about three minutes later.
With the victory, MSU improved to 9-1, continuing its best start since the 2008-09 campaign.
“I have been doing it long enough to know sometimes you get a false sense of security of how good you are,” Schaefer said. “We can’t play this way and beat a lot of people in just one half. The schedule gets tougher from here, but we are pleased to be 9-1 while playing so many new people.”
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 27 of 60 shots from the field (45.0 percent), 1 of 2 shots from 3-point range (50.0 percent) and 20 of 30 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent). The Lady Hornets hit 16 of 61 shots from the field (26.2 percent), 5 of 15 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 12 of 18 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent).
Alabama State held a 47-41 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 17 assists and 14 turnovers, while the Lady Hornets had eight assists and 28 turnovers.
Grant paced MSU with 16 points, while Dillingham added 13 points. Sherise Williams fell just shy of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. Martha Alwal added eight points and eight rebounds. Savannah Carter had four assists and four steals, while Katia May added five assists.
The Bulldogs blocked 10 shots in the contest, with Alwal, MSU’s career blocks leader, swatting five and Williams rejecting four attempts.
Alabama State (4-2) received eight points from Kayla Tucker and seven points from Brittney Wright. Wright led all rebounders with 10 boards – all on the defensive end – in the contest.
The Bulldogs will take the week ahead off to concentrate on final examinations. MSU will host in-state rival Southern Mississippi at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Humphrey Coliseum.
No. 23 Aggies Down Washington 74-68
COLLEGE STATION - Karla Gilbert posted her second straight double double, as No. 23 Texas A&M defeated Washington 74-68 at Reed Arena.
The night was special for Texas A&M Head Coach Gary Blair, who had a banner raised to the rafters honoring his enshrinement to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame this summer.
Gilbert scored 11 points with a career-high 15 rebounds, to earn her second straight double double, and her third career double double. She was joined in double figures by Courtney Williams, who led the Aggies with 13 points, and Courtney Walker, who reached double figures for the seventh straight game with 10 points.
Jordan Jones, despite not reaching double digits in any one stat, very nearly had a triple double, earning eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists, to go along with four steals. All told, seven A&M players had eight-or-more points, including all eight starting players.
Washington (2-3) jumped out to an early lead, leading the Aggies 17-10 with 9:56 left in the first half. A&M immediately responded with an 11-0 run, and outscored Washington 20-4 over the next eight minutes. Walker hit two 3-pointers in the last 1:02 of the half to give A&M a 36-28 lead going into the break.
Texas A&M (6-2) continued its momentum after the half, scoring the first 11 points of the second half to take a 19-point lead, and did not trail the remainder of the game.
However, Washington was able to pull close, cutting the lead to three with 9:10 remaining. Williams answered by hitting a 3-pointer, grabbing a defensive rebound on the other end, and draining another 3-pointer to extend the lead to 61-52 with 8:02 to play.
The Huskies had another run in them, pulling to within four at 66-62 with 3:36 to play, and again Williams answered, hitting a layup to extend the Aggie lead to six, and Washington never got any closer.
The win keeps A&M perfect at home, and is the 63rd straight non-conference home win against an unranked opponent for the Aggies. A&M is 23-1 against unranked opponents at home since the start of 2011-12.
The Aggies travel to State College, Pa. to face No. 10 Penn State on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. Texas A&M returns home on Dec. 17 to host Nicholls State with a special tip time of 11 a.m.