Ole Miss women’s basketball’s rally falls short at Alabama

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, January 5, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Ole Miss women’s basketball team (12-3, 1-1 SEC) cut Alabama’s once 18-point fourth quarter lead all the way to five points with less than a minute remaining behind a whopping 16 fourth-quarter points from Chrishae Rowe, but came up short in a 90-80 road loss to the Crimson Tide.

Down 17 points to start the fourth quarter, Ole Miss turned to junior guard Rowe, who filled up the stat sheet. She scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter as the Rebels chipped away at the lead. Ole Miss got the Alabama (13-2, 1-1 SEC) lead to five points twice in the final 1:30 of the game, but with 25 seconds remaining, the home team closed the game with five unanswered to earn the win.

Madinah Muhammad led the team with 20 points while Rowe added 18 points, 16 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Shandricka Sessom was also in double figures with 14 points. Shequila Joseph led the rebounding efforts with six.

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Ole Miss sliced the Crimson Tide lead down to just six at halftime, but Alabama came out of the break with a 6-0 run getting the gap back up to 12 points. With 2:50 left in the third quarter, Ole Miss used a triple at the top of the key from Sessom to get the lead to under 10 points, but Alabama used an 11-2 run to close the quarter and open up a 63-46 lead at the end of the third.

Ole Miss trailed by 15 points early in the second quarter and struggled with fouls with both Erika Sisk and Alissa Alston saddled with three fouls each by the seven-minute mark, but with six minutes remaining, a bucket underneath from Shelby Gibson sparked an 8-0 Ole Miss run which saw the Rebels get themselves right back in the game.

The teams traded buckets over the course of the next several minutes, but Ole Miss used a trey from Torri Lewis and an old-fashioned three-point play form Muhammad down the stretch to cut a once 15-point lead down to just two possessions and six points at halftime.

Three-point shooting was a factor in the first quarter as the home team was 5 of 9 from long range while Ole Miss was 2 of 8. Additionally, Ole Miss forced the Tide into 10 turnovers but could only capitalize to the tune of four points.