By Staff and wire reports
STARKVILLE – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team saw its 10-point second half lead evaporate as Mississippi State climbed back into the game, forced overtime and recorded the 53-50 win Sunday afternoon.
With 16.4 seconds remaining, Valencia McFarland hit two free throws for the Ole Miss women’s basketball team to give the Rebels a 43-40 lead over Mississippi State. State’s leading scorer Diamber Johnson made just her second field goal of the game as she hit a three with 5.3 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Mississippi State improved to 14-11 (4-8 SEC), while Ole Miss fell to 12-14 (2-11 SEC).
McFarland led Ole Miss with 16 points while Danielle McCray ended the game with a career-high 12 rebounds and a career-high three blocks while Tia Flaeru also added a career-high 12 rebounds.
After scoring the first basket of the game, the Lady Bulldogs came away empty on their next eight possessions. A put back by McCray with 8:32 left in the first half put Ole Miss up by four, 13-9.
After trailing by two, the Rebels went on a 7-0 run to push ahead 22-17 with 3:14 left in the half. At the half, Ole Miss led by one, 24-23, which was the same halftime score of the game the last time these two teams met in January.
McFarland led Ole Miss at the half with eight points while McCray recorded six rebounds. As a team, Ole Miss shot 27.6 percent from the floor (8-29) while Mississippi State shot 32.3 percent (32.3). The Rebels out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 30-18 in the half.
Ole Miss started the second half by increasing its lead to 10, 35-25, after a three pointer from Amber Singletary with 13:34 to play.
The Rebels were held without a field goal for over six minutes as State went on a 9-0 run to close the gap to one, 37-36, with 5:51 remaining in the game.
Read more on this game in Monday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.