The Lady Rebels lost to the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 82-78 Sunday in the Tad Smith Coliseum.
The Lady Rebels got off to a slow start, which was ultimately their downfall. UL-Lafayette jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, and after the Rebels cut it to 12-9 at the first media timeout the floodgates opened for the Lady Ragin’ Cajuns. The Lady Ragin’ Cajuns would go on a 34-17 run to the end the first half, taking a 46-36 lead at the half.
“It was sobering how bad, defensively, we were in the first half,” Insell said. “I don’t really know the word to put it.”
Insell said it was the maddest he’s ever been at halftime, and it was all to do with energy, not x’s and o’s.
“We were so bad defensively,” Insell said. “It took the energy out of me.”
Insell’s fire brought some life to the Rebels as they brought the deficit down to 17 going into the final quarter.
One of the biggest contributors to the Rebels to come back was freshman Torri Lewis. Lewis totaled 20 points. Lewis hit six of her seven three point shots, including two late in the game to get the Rebels back into striking distance.
“Coach wanted me to be ready,” Lewis said. “I was just actually ready to shoot, and that’s what coach wanted me to do.”
Insell said Lewis got into the game because of the energy she provides, something that was lacking from some other players.
“The one thing about Torri is that Torri is a ‘we’ player, and she cares a lot about the University and cares a lot about her teammates,” Insell said. “When I’m sitting there and we don’t have a lot of passion on the court, the one thing that popped into my head was that Torri may get beat off the dribble, but what’s different, everyone’s getting beat off the dribble, too.”
Unfortunately, the comeback was not enough, as the Lady Ragin’ Cajuns iced the game away with clutch free throw shooting toward the end of the game.
“I’m really proud of our effort in the second half,” said Insell. “We challenged them at halftime and really proud on how that group came out and to start the second half and all the way through the fourth quarter.”
Ole Miss held UL-Lafayette to 32 percent shooting and forced 10 turnovers in the second half, and the Lady Rebels shot 49 percent from the floor and 45 percent from the three in the second half.
“We work on (defense) every single day, more than anything,” junior Bretta Hart said. “We start with defensive drills, and we end with defensive drills. So, it was pretty surprising that it was what cost us the game.”
The Lady Rebels return to action on Thursday when they take on Missouri State at 6 p.m. at the Tad Pad.