BLOG — Valencia McFarland scored a career-high 28 points and Tia Faleru had 20 points, but Ole Miss’ women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome some hot shooting by No. 24 Vanderbilt in an 80-74 loss Thursday night at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
Kenyotta Jenkins added 10 points for Ole Miss (9-9 overall, 0-4 in Southeastern Conference), which lost its ninth straight SEC game dating back to last season. Christine Foggie poured in 28 points to lead the Lady Commodores while Jasmine Lister and Morgan Batey finished with 17 and 11 points, respectively.
“Tonight we played hard, and Vanderbilt’s a tough, tough team to guard defensively,” Ole Miss coach Matt Insell said. “They make it real tough on you because of all their cuts, their moving, and we made Vanderbilt get late in the shot clock. That’s where we’ve got to start digging in is late in the shot clock with two or three seconds on the clock, making that play that can help us win a game there.”
Stops were hard to come by on both ends. Vanderbilt shot 57 percent for the game while Ole Miss hit 56 percent of its shots. The teams combined for 76 points in the paint, but the Lady Commodores (15-3, 4-1) held Ole Miss scoreless long enough at times in the second half to take control.
Vanderbilt quickly erased a 38-37 halftime deficit, drawing even at 44 apiece on a layup from Foggie with 16:35 left. Ole Miss went the next four minutes and change without a field goal, and the Lady Commodores built a 51-47 lead before McFarland ended the drought with a layup. Vandy stretched its lead to six on a free throw from Kylee Smith with 3:32 left, but McFarland answered with a 3 to cut the deficit in half.
But the Lady Rebels didn’t get any closer. A free throw from Amber Singletary was the only point Ole Miss mustered over the next 2 minutes, 8 seconds as Vanderbilt stretched its lead to 10 at 78-68 with 1:24 left.
Ole Miss’ offense was there from the start.
Behind numerous drives to the basket by McFarland and strong finishes in the post from Faleru, Ole Miss overcome an early 9-2 hole, built a 30-23 advantage with 6:30 remaining in the first half and held on to the one-point lead at the break. McFarland and Faleru highlighted a 68-percent shooting performance for the Lady Rebels in the opening 20 minutes, combining to go 12-for-15 from the floor for 13 points apiece.
Ole Miss will return to action on Sunday with a trip to Arkansas. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
For complete coverage from tonight’s game, see Friday’s edition of the EAGLE. (January 17, 2014)