Ole Miss falls to No. 22 Missouri, 60-46
In her first appearance in The Pavilion at Ole Miss, Missouri’s junior forward Sierra Michaelis made herself right at home from 3-point range, as she and the Tigers defeated the Rebels, 60-46, Sunday afternoon.
Michaelis scored 14 of her 20 points—4 of 7 from 3-point range—in the third quarter to lead No. 22 Missouri (18-4, 5-4 Southeastern Conference) to its third straight victory and fifth straight in the series against the Rebels. Early in the third period, she drained two straights three-pointers and then hit two more late in the same quarter to give the Tigers a 41-33 lead.
But the Rebels never gave up and kept on fighting. Despite having missed a number of wide-open shots, Ole Miss was still very much alive in the game after an A’Queen Hayes layup cut the Rebels deficit to 49-43.
However, Missouri then scored five straight points, capped off by a baseline jumper by Michaelis, who shot 6 of 9 from the field and grabbed a season-high eight rebounds. Junior forward Jordan Frericks had 17 points and nine rebounds. Sophie Cunningham added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Ole Miss’ main goal was to try and control the boards against a much bigger and longer Missouri team that came into Oxford riding a two-game winning streak. Though the Tigers won the rebounding battle, 50-32, the Rebels’ zone defense found a way to make things difficult for the Tigers, forcing Missouri into 25 turnovers. Ole Miss scored 21 points off of those turnovers, but struggled to take advantage of wide open shots.
And in the end, the missed offensive chances didn’t sit well with Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell, whose team has lost two straight since defeating 12th-ranked Kentucky 73-65 on Jan. 21.
“We didn’t make enough shots to win the game, but we did get a lot of great looks,” he said. “I hurt for our players because they played really, really hard.”
Ole Miss led 19-18 at intermission, but the Rebels’ three second-quarter points were the lowest since scoring five in the second quarter at Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 22, 2015. Both teams made seven shots apiece in the first 20 minutes. The Tigers went 24 for 50 from the field.
Rebels travel to Alabama on Thursday.
(Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)