Ole Miss finds offense but blows lead late at Florida

Published 2:35 pm Sunday, January 21, 2018

Matt Insell was not happy with his team’s abysmal performance last Thursday against Missouri, shooting just over 30 percent from the floor.

On Sunday at Florida the Rebels appeared to have rediscovered their offense, shooting 41 percent from the floor and 32 percent from three-point range.

It turned into a wasted effort after Ole Miss fell to Florida 61-60 — blowing a 13-point second half lead — for their third straight loss and seventh in their last nine games.

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Alissa Alston led Ole Miss (11-8, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) with 17 points, Madinah Muhammad and Promise Taylor had 12 points each with Muhammad dishing out a team-high six assists while Shelby Gibson chipped in 10 points to round the Rebels double-digit scorers.

Florida (10-10, 2-5) was up 10 points before the Rebels went on a 15-2 run to close out the first half for a 29-26 lead.

Ole Miss outscored the Gators 27-17 in the third quarter to take their 13-point lead into the final eight minutes.

The offense went cold for the Rebels in the fourth quarter, starting out missing their first nine shots and the Gators used a 16-0 run to begin the quarter to erase the deficit.

Each team traded baskets the final minute and with three seconds remaining Alston had her potential game-winning layup blocked by Florida’s Haley Lorenzen and the Gators rebounded with a second left for their second straight SEC win.

Florida nearly doubled up Ole Miss in the rebound category, pulling down 43 to the Rebels’ 24. The points in the paint were nearly identical with Ole Miss holding a 28-26 advantage and also outscoring the Gators 18-7 off the bench.

Lorenzen led the Gators with a game-high 18 points and 13 rebounds. Delicia Washington had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Funda Nakkasoglu added nine points.

Ole Miss stays on the road this week with a trip to No. 6 Tennessee on Thursday to continue the ‘We Back Pat’ week, honoring the late Lady Volunteers coach Pat Summit.