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Rebels close NYC road trip with win

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Ole Miss closed its two-game road swing in New York City with a 86-49 win over Wagner on Sunday afternoon. Shandricka Sessom led the Rebels for the second consecutive game with 18 points, while Jonell Williams tied her career high with nine rebounds.

Ole Miss leading scorer Sessom scored in double figures in for the sixth straight game and was joined in double figures by freshmen Alissa Alston and Madinah Muhammad, who scored 12 points each. Williams, who saw her first game action since the Missouri State game, tallied nine rebounds in 13 minutes amounting to roughly 1.4 rebounds per minute.

Ole Miss dominated the game after halftime scoring 50 points in the third and four quarters while holding the Seahawks (0-4) to 23 points combined in the final two quarters. Ole Miss shot 50.0 percent for the contest and was on fire from the floor to close the game shooting at a .576 clip (19-of-33) to close the game.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a game in college where the opposing team took over the crowd,” Ole Miss coach Matt Insell said. “It’s a small gym and even their fans were cheering for our team. I told the team that was respect and a testament to how hard they played. W didn’t play the scoreboard. We could have easily come out and coasted to a 10 point lead but we didn’t we came out with new energy and kept going and going and the next thing you know the gym was rocking. It was fun for our team. We have a lot of momentum going home and we really couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our trip.”

The Rebels also got back in the green on the defensive side of the ball; recording 51 rebounds while holding the Seahawks to just 34 rebounds on the afternoon. It marked the first time in the last three outings Ole Miss has outrebounded its opponent.

Muhammad had the hot hand to start the third quarter with the first seven points of the quarter including a triple to get things started. Ole Miss’ three-point shots started falling more consistently as Ole Miss dropped three triples in the first three minutes of action.

Comfortable win
From that point on the Rebels cruised as they saw their lead get as high as 39 points as the Rebels moved to .500 and closed out their New York City road trip with two wins.

The game started slow for both teams but Ole Miss used back-to-back triples from Erika Sisk and Shequila Joseph to pull ahead, 8-1 midway through the first quarter. The Rebels used their increased defensive presence to force the Seahawks to play faster than they wanted causing five Wagner first quarter turnovers.  Wagner cut into the lead late but Ole Miss closed the quarter with several big highlights including a huge block from Kelsey Briggs and a triple from Sessom as time expired to give Ole Miss a 19-16 lead at the end of the first quarter of play.

The home team got as close as three points at the start of the second quarter with a layup from Alexis Smith, but Ole Miss rattled off 10 consecutive points midway through the quarter and saw its lead expand as high as 14 points, en route to a 36-26 halftime lead.