By John Luke McCord/Special to the Journal
OXFORD – The Ole Miss women rose up after halftime.
After trailing by eight points at halftime, the Lady Rebels roared to a 65-51 victory on Thursday night.
“I thought tonight’s game was a tale of two halves,” said acting Ole Miss head coach Brett Frank, whose team avenged an earlier 72-57 loss to its state rival in Starkville and snapped a six-game losing streak in the series.
The Rebels (9-15, 2-9) began the second half on a 20-5 run. Ole Miss was able to force 11 turnovers and get the ball out in transition on offense. The Rebels scored 14 points off turnovers in the second half.
Ole Miss took its first lead with 13:36 to play.
It snapped a four-game losing streak for the home team, who got 11 points and 11 rebounds from Tia Faleru. Potts Camp’s Kenyotta Jenkins added 10 points and eight rebounds.
“Mississippi State came in and absolutely dominated us in the first half,” Frank said. “At halftime our kids took some ownership and took a step in the right direction.”
Leading the surge for Ole Miss in the second half was junior point guard Valencia McFarland, who finished with 19 points – 15 after intermission.
McFarland also had eight assists without a turnover.
“We ran into a very focused team today, especially (McFarland),” said first-year Mississippi State coach Vic Shaefer.
Mississippi State (11-13, 3-8 SEC) led 35-27 at halftime after shooting 48 percent (14 of 29) from the field. After the intermission, the Lady Bulldogs hit just 7 of 29 – 1 of 9 from 3-point range.
For MSU, the loss comes on the heels of a big victory at Missouri.
“I said it on Sunday, we may have another hiccup or two along the way,” Schaefer said.