By NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Senior Kayla Melson scored a career-high 30 points to lead all scorers, and Ole Miss erased a 16-point halftime deficit to beat Vanderbilt 72-67 on Sunday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Courtney Marbra gave the Rebels (8-5 overall, 1-0 SEC) their first lead since the game’s opening possession on a jumper with 5:02 left in the game.
Melson also contributed a team-high seven rebounds and five assists. Valencia McFarland chipped in with 15 points and four assists.
“Defense for us has to generate offense and we are still learning that,” said coach Renee Ladner, whose team trailed 40-24 at halftime. “I told them as the half that we’ve been down before. I thought Kayla was the spark today. Her ability to get to the basket – she looked confident and she made us confident.”
Jence Rhoads and Hannah Tuomi led Vanderbilt (9-5, 0-1) with 16 points each. The Commodores are 2-5 on the road this season.
Ole Miss will travel to Tennessee on Sunday for an 11 a.m. CT game.
– No. 5 Tennessee 73, LSU 65: It had been nearly 12 years since Tennessee went a game without a 3-pointer.
It hardly mattered.
Kelley Cain and Glory Johnson scored 19 points while Kamiko Williams added 13 points for the Lady Vols (13-2), who didn’t hit a 3-pointer for the first time in 422 games. They were 0-for-7 from behind the arc on Sunday.
– Florida 64, No. 22 Arkansas 53: The Gators (11-4, 1-0 SEC) led the entire game, improved to 8-0 at home and handed the Razorbacks (12-1, 0-1) their first loss of the season.
Deana Allen scored 12 points to lead a balanced effort for Florida, which got 28 points from its bench.
Arkansas (12-1, 0-1) shot a season-low 31.7 percent, including 3 of 18 from 3-point range.
– Georgia 61, South Carolina 51: Freshman Khaalidah Miller scored 15 points off the bench, all on 3-pointers, to lead the Bulldogs (11-3). Georgia led 40-17 at halftime.
– Auburn 66, Alabama 55: Senior Jordan Greenleaf scored a career-high 19 points for the Tigers (8-6, 1-0), who have won seven of their last nine.