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Ole Miss women notch road win at Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — It took until February but the wait was worth it as the Ole Miss women’s basketball team ended its road woes with an 84-75 win over Florida in primetime on Monday night. Madinah Muhammad led the way with 21 points and was joined in double figures by two teammates, including freshman Shelby Gibson, who tied her career-high with 16 points.

The fourth quarter wasn’t for the faint of heart as the teams went back and forth early, but Ole Miss (15-8, 4-6 Southeastern Conference) was able to use some timely shooting from Muhammad and Shandricka Sessom to take a 71-64 lead with 5:55 left. The home team cut it to five with 2:06 to go, but Ole Miss was flawless from the line late, going 5 of 5 to seal the win.

The third period was as close of a quarter as the Rebels have played this season with the lead never growing larger than one possession throughout. Florida tied the game at 55 with 1:21 left in the quarter on a bucket from Dyandria Anderson, who had seven points in the third quarter, but Muhammad gave the lead back to the Rebels with a bucket from the right side. Florida took a lead on the three-point play from Haley Lorenzen, but Ole Miss responded with a late triple from Erika Sisk to take a 60-58 lead into the fourth quarter.

Ole Miss opened the second quarter with a 12-0 run fueled by triples from Muhammad, Sessom and Gibson, forcing the Gators to call a timeout at the 6:53 mark. Ole Miss ramped up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and it showed as the Gators had seven second-quarter turnovers.

The quarter was filled with runs. Ole Miss opened the frame with a 12-0 run and Florida closed with a 13-6 spurt over the final 4:30 to cut a 10-point Ole Miss lead to just three points at halftime.

Ole Miss will return home Thursday at 6 p.m. to take on LSU.