Once again, the Rebels allowed momentum from an opposing team’s run to get the best of them.
The Rebels lost their fourth straight road game with a 78-56 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegman Coliseum. The loss drops their record to 9-17 overall and 3-9 in SEC play. After taking a 10-8 lead midway through the first quarter and finding success scoring in the paint, the Bulldogs countered with a 16-0 run and didn’t look back.
“In the beginning of the game, we just got out-toughed,” Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee- McCuin said. “I was disappointed with our effort level. The first five minutes, we were doing fine, but we hit a little adversity. I thought the last five minutes of the first quarter and the following 10 minutes that we just got manhandled. That was disappointing for our squad.”
Ole Miss had no answers for Georgia’s Caliya Robinson, particularly in the first half. Her 14 points in the first quarter outscored the entire Ole Miss roster. She would finish the night with 20 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field.
In the second half, the Rebels started having issues containing Maya Caldwell and Taja Cole. Caldwell had 12 second-half points and Cole had 7 of her 10 assists in that frame as well. Georgia finished the night outnumbering Ole Miss 23-5 in the assists column.
Ole Miss did end up outscoring Georgia in the fourth quarter 19-18, production primarily coming from the bench.
“I played the people who wanted to compete and the people who didn’t want to compete, I didn’t play,” McPhee-McCuin said. “At one point I had four freshmen on the floor. This was their first time being thrown in the fire. We’re going to try to build off of that, and the ones who don’t want to compete, then I’m not playing them. This is culture building. This is year one. We are either going to win the right way, or lose the right way.”
Crystal Allen led the way for the Rebels with 21 points coming off of the bench once again. However, she was only able to muster two of those points in the first half and by that time the game was already out of hand.
“I was disappointed in (Allen) too, she didn’t show up in the first half either,” McPhee-McCuin said. “She doesn’t get a pass if she scored 21 points. She could’ve done that in the beginning. Maybe that would’ve brought us some type of consistency. She can’t come in and be as shaky as she was in the beginning. For a senior, we need her to be more composed.”
Taylor Smith had seven points for the Rebels while Shandricka Sessom added six of her own. The team shot 41 percent from the floor as a whole. Ole Miss hosts rival No. 6 Mississippi State on Saturday in the Pavilion.
“I just want to see fight,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I want the last picture of what people think about Ole Miss Women’s Basketball to be competitiveness, toughness and fight.”