Ole Miss women’s hoops fell 55-50 to TCU at home Thursday night, bringing them to 3-5 on the season in a Big 12/SEC challenge that was a tale of two halves.
Ole Miss struggled out of the gate, facing a 14-7 deficit after the first quarter which included an 11-0 scoring run by the Horned Frogs to close out the period. The Rebels ended the first quarter just 2 of 13 shooting, equating to a 15 percent success rate. Shandrika Sessom almost single-handedly kept the Rebels in the game in the first half by putting up 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting, while connecting on both of her three-point shots.
The Rebels seemed to flip a switch during halftime, however, opening the third quarter on a 9-2 run. Ole Miss would ride the early momentum eventually forcing TCU into nine turnovers during the ten-minute period and outscoring TCU 23-10 en route to taking a 40-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
The game came down to the wire with both teams fighting to finish. Ole Miss trailed 51-50 with a minute to play, but TCU’s experience and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch helped the Horned Frogs secure the win.
The Ole Miss team took the court without starting point guard Mimi Reid, who suffered a concussion the day before when she hit her head in a fall to the floor. This left Sessom to handle point guard duties.
“In the past years I have played point guard for us, so it was just a little throwback Thursday,” Sessom said.
She scored 19 points and hauled in in seven rebounds.
TCU’s Amy Okonkwo and Jordan Moore proved to be problematic for the Rebels as they both finished with double-doubles. Okonkwo, the Big 12’s reigning 6th Man of the Year, had 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Jordan Moore was a menace on the glass as she collected 15 rebounds to go along with 13 points in the Horned Frog’s win.
Though the result may not have been what head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and her team would have hoped for, there is something to be said by taking a 23-win TCU team who lost in the WNIT semifinals just a year ago down to the wire.
“We need this type of experience to have the type of success that I believe we will have in conference,” McPhee-McCuin said.
Ole Miss returns to action in the Pavilion on Sunday at 2 p.m. as they take on the Jacksonville State Gamecocks who enter the game with a 3-3 record.