The Ole Miss women’s basketball team lost a hard-fought battle to the Florida Gators at home on Sunday afternoon, ending with a final score of 78-68.
The lead swung back and forth in the third quarter, but the Rebels couldn’t hold onto their halftime lead of 37-33. The Ole Miss defense was poor in the third quarter, allowing the Gators to score 25 points to take a 58-49 lead going into the fourth quarter. Ole Miss then shot an impressive 7-12 from the field, but the great attempt to get back into the game was not enough.
“At halftime, we talked about the next three minutes being crucial,” head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said in a statement via Ole Miss Athletics. “We’re going to either take the lead or get smacked in the face. We have to learn through adverse moments. That’s just what has to happen.”
Senior guard Valerie Nesbitt led the team with 18 points and seven assists, while freshman Madison Scott scored 14 points. The Rebel defense put up four blocks, totaled seven steals and forced 12 turnovers. Junior Shakira Austin led the team with seven rebounds, followed by redshirt sophomore Donnetta Johnson, who added five rebounds.
As a whole, the team shot 47.5% overall, 50% from beyond the arc and 40 points from within the paint.
The Gators’ record improved to 9-6 as the Rebels suffered their fifth defeat of the season against seven wins.
The Rebels will take on the Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, Tenn., this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. The game will air on SECN+.