Trailing by as many as 23 late in the first half at Alabama, Ole Miss women’s basketball team battled back to pull to within one with 8:02 left in the second half, but the Crimson Tide hung on for the 61-52 win.After closing the gap to one, 46-45, on a free throw, Ole Miss managed just one field goal over the final 6:08 of the game. Alabama led by 23, 32-9, with 4:15 left in the first half.
With the loss, Ole Miss fell to 10-16 overall and 3-11 in the Southeastern Conference while Alabama improved to 15-12 and 4-10. The Lady Rebels were without two of their starters Sunday afternoon in Kayla Melson and Pa’Sonna Hope. Melson missed her fifth straight game.
Nikki Byrd recorded her second double-double of the year, and fifth of her career, as she finished with 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Shae Nelson scored 13 while Valencia McFarland added 12.
Ole Miss will host No. 4 Tennessee on Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by SportSouth and will be senior day for the Rebels’ two seniors in Melson and Tori Slusher. Former Ole Miss Rebel Alliesha Easley, a junior last season who did not play this year due to injuries, will also be honored. (February 21, 2011, Page 8)