No. 11 Missouri hands Ole Miss second straight loss

Published 10:53 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

Ole Miss had a week off to prepare for Missouri, coming off their lop-sided loss at No. 3 Mississippi State. It was not enough as the No. 11 Tigers defeated the Rebels 67-48 at the Pavilion on Thursday night.

For a second straight game the Rebels (11-7, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) came out sluggish with the Tigers jumping out to a 20-2 lead in the first six minutes of the game. Missouri scored on its first eight possessions and the Rebels missed six of their first seven shots to aid in the early deficit.

Matt Insell is still winless against Missouri, joining South Carolina as the only two SEC teams the fifth-year coach has not defeated.

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“I told our players, ‘you got some soul searching to do,'” Insell said. “‘You got to actually want to do this at a high level and if you don’t you got to readjust where you’re at in our program.'”

Promise Taylor scored a team-high 16 points to lead the Rebels and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Madinah Muhammad scored 11 points and Alissa Alston added seven points.

Alston played 26 minutes — her lowest minute total in SEC play — after picking up three fouls in the first six minutes of the game, causing her to sit until the second half.

Thursday also provided the seventh different starting lineup of the season with Shelby Gibson joining Taylor for the first time this year. The bigger lineup did not provide much success with Gibson scoring just five points and grabbing one rebound in 28 minutes.

The Rebels shot 17 of 56 (30 percent) from the floor and were 3 of 18 from the three-point mark.

“We had an unbelievable week of practice,” Insell said. “I was really optimistic and excited about what was going to happen out here today because our players were prepared. Then we get in the game and we don’t do anything we worked on for three days. The same problem we had at Mississippi State we had here. We don’t do anything we worked on.”

Either we’re not paying attention and we’re just doing it in practice to make coach happy or we’re just not very good at anything, we’re just not a very good player. So we got to figure out what that is. I think it’s more towards we do it in practice because coach is on our butts.”

Missouri (16-2, 4-1) was led by Sophie Cunningham’s 20 points. Jordan Frericks and Hannah Schuchts each scored 12 points.

The Tigers shot 12 of 27 from three-point range (44 percent) but started the game hitting five of their first six shots from beyond the arc.

“I give all the credit to the players,” Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. “There’s some great leadership in that locker room. I really trust the voice in the locker room. They’ve worked extremely hard. I think they’re really sold out on the front of the jersey”

Ole Miss has a chance to end their current skid — dropped six of their last eight games — when they travel to Florida on Sunday (Noon, SEC Network). The Rebels only SEC win came against the Gators in a double over time win on Jan. 7.