Auburn pulls away from Ole Miss in second half

By School reports

AUBURN, Ala. – Up by just three at half, Auburn pulled away in the second half as the Ole Miss women’s basketball team fell 85-73 at Auburn Arena Thursday night.

With the loss Ole Miss fell to 8-7 overall (1-2 SEC) while Auburn improved to 10-7 (3-1 SEC).

Freshman Shae Nelson tied the program record for three pointers in a game with seven. Nelson, who ended the game with a career-high 21 points, finished the game 7-of-9 from three point range.

The game went back and forth until midway through the first half when the Rebels went on a 10-2 run, including two threes from Nelson, as Ole Miss went up 22-15 with 9:22 left in the half.

Auburn retook the lead with 2:36 left in the half as Alli Smalley hit a three to give the Tigers the 33-31 lead.

The Tigers led 36-33 at the half. Nelson led the Rebels at the break with 12 points while Kayla Melson had eight.

Ole Miss shot 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from the floor in the first half while Auburn shot 44.1 percent (15-of-34). The Tigers held a 21-to-12 advantage in rebounds with Pa’Sonna Hope leading the Rebels with three boards.

The Tigers opened the half on a 15-5 run to take a 51-38 lead with 15:57 remaining in the game. Nelson’s three cut the Tigers’ lead to 10, 59-49, with 11:59 left in the game.

Auburn went up by 14 with 6:06 to play, and Ole Miss couldn’t close the gap.

Melson ended the game with 29 points while Valencia McFarland finished with six points and a career-high 10 assists.

“We are not taking care of our possessions,” said Ole Miss head coach Renee Ladner. “We didn’t defend and we didn’t rebound. Shae is a scorer and something we badly need. She has a confidence about her, and she had a good night. Right now our problem isn’t offense, it’s a defensive problem.”

Ole Miss will host South Carolina at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The South Carolina game is “Take a Kid to the Game” day where kids 14 and under will receive free admission to the game with a paying adult. Also, fans 14 and under will be able to sign up to win a portable basketball goal.