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.
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.
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.