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Third quarter offensive explosion not enough for Ole Miss to beat TCU

OXFORD – A 23-point offensive explosion in the third-quarter wasn’t enough for the Ole Miss women, as they fell at home to TCU 55-50 in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.

Ole Miss was without their starting point guard tonight, as redshirt freshman Mimi Reid sustained a concussion leaving the bathroom on Wednesday. They played the first half out of their comfort zone, adjusting to the lack of their point guard.

“I just knew we had to try to weather the storm in the first half,” said head coach Yolette McPhee-McCuin. “I knew it would be an adjustment for us.”

It was an ugly start for Ole Miss in just about every way. They scored only 7 points in the first quarter and 17 total in the first half. The Rebels average 14.6 turnovers a game, but in the first half alone, they had 11.

Ole Miss trailed the majority of the first half, entering halftime down 29-17. The Rebels made it interesting to start the second half, coming out and starting the third quarter on a 11-2. They would slowly continue to chip into the lead, before taking their first lead since it was 6-7. They closed the third quarter outscoring TCU 23-10, leading 40-39 after three quarters.

“We’ve been down by a lot in the Virgin Islands, and we were back in the games,” McCuin said. “I didn’t have to make anyone believe that we could get back in the game.”

The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth contest, with TCU taking a four-point lead into the final minute of play. A three pointer by Shandricka Sessom cut the TCU lead to one with 55-seconds to play, but it was too little too late for Ole Miss. Sessom was really the only Ole Miss player able to get it going on offense. Her 19 points was a season high and her 7 rebounds was a career high.

A positive note for Ole Miss: they held a Horned Frog team that came into the night averaging 72.2 points per game to only 55 points on 35-percent shooting. They shot just 21-percent from three. TCU’s two leading scorers, Jordan Moore and Kianna Ray, came into the night averaging 15.6 and 14.2 points per game, respectively. Tonight, they scored a combined 20 points.

“We really felt good about our game plan defensively,” McCuin said. “We’re a pretty good defensive team. We just have to get our offense to click, and I promise you guys it’ll come.”

The Rebel women will play again in three days, another chance to get back in the win column after dropping four in a row. They will play Jacksonville State on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. from The Pavilion.