Rebels fall short on road in upset bid of No. 24 Tennessee

Published 12:00 pm Friday, February 19, 2016

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Ole Miss women’s basketball team (10-16, 2-11 Southeastern Conference) fought back from nine points down in the fourth quarter to take a 51-50 lead, but Tennessee closed the game with seven straight points to take the 57-51 win over Ole Miss. Shandricka Sessom lead all-scorers with 21 points and A’Queen Hayes was in double figures for the third straight game with 12 points and team-best eight rebounds.

Ole Miss fought back and after scoring just six points in the third quarter found themselves down nine points with 7:40 remaining but dug in and scored 10 straight points to take a 51-50 lead but a bucket from Tennessee’s Dunbar in the paint and a triple on the other end shifted the momentum to the home team.

Out of the halftime break, Tennessee went 5-of-5 from the floor early to take a 40-39 lead at the media timeout. It was the first lead for the Lady Vols since the early minutes of the second quarter.

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The Rebels struggled from the floor and closed the third quarter without a bucket in the last 7:35, but found themselves down just seven points, heading into the decisive fourth quarter.

The first half was a game of runs and Tennessee scored 10 unanswered points to open the second quarter before a triple from Shequila Joseph ended Ole Miss’ nearly four-minute drought. Torri Lewis got into the three-point action with her 39th triple of the season, which was her seventh triple in the last eight games, and the Rebels took a 29-24 lead, courtesy of a 7-0 Ole Miss run.

Hot start
Ole Miss had one of its better shooting nights against the Lady Vols in the first half. The Rebels were 13-of-31 from the floor for 41.6 percent shooting and it was even better from long range as Ole Miss was 5-of-10 from the three-point line and with Sessom leading the way with three treys.

Ole Miss jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind four points from A’Queen Hayes, but the Lady Volunteers responded with a seven unanswered to take a 9-6 lead at the 5:40 mark forcing the Rebels to call a timeout to regroup. Out of the timeout, Ole Miss responded in a big way with an 8-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back treys from the left side from Sessom off the bench. Sessom was the highlight of the first quarter as she went 3-of-3 from long range for 11 points including a dagger as time expired at the end of the first quarter, to give Ole Miss a 19-14 lead.