Ole Miss didn’t blink after faltering to start the second half. Despite fighting their way back into the game, it was not enough to take down the Tide.
The Rebels dropped a defensive slugfest to the Alabama Crimson Tide, falling 46-43 Thursday in Tuscaloosa. The loss puts Ole Miss at 9-20 overall and 3-12 in SEC play. The Rebels led for 23 minutes of the contest but were undone by shooting at the end of the night.
Ole Miss shot 25 percent by going 14-of-57 as a team. They also went 4-of-23 behind the arc, 17 percent for the game. However, they were active on the defensive end, forcing 21 turnovers.
A common narrative of having a single quarter doom the Rebels continued on in the third quarter.
After leading 22-16 at halftime, Alabama took advantage of four straight turnovers to retake the lead midway through the third quarter. They led by as much as five once La’Karis Salter committed an intentional foul while on the free throw line. That resulted in three more free throws and giving Alabama the ball. The Crimson also used a 9-0 run to aid their cause en route to a 20-11 third-quarter advantage.
Ole Miss still had multiple chances to win the game after a fourth-quarter going back and forth between the two teams. Shandricka Sessom missed a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds left in regulation. Her teammates immediately fouled Alabama’s Jasmine Walker after getting the rebound. She missed both free throws and Ole Miss called timeout.
However, Salter could not capitalize at the horn.
The Rebels missed 11 of their last 12 shots, including being unable to get a single field goal in the final 6:34 of play. They also committed 17 turnovers, 10 of which occurred in the second half.
Crystal Allen, the SEC’s third-leading scorer, once again led all scorers with 20 points. Salter added nine points to go along with her nine rebounds for Ole Miss.
The Tide were even with their scoring production, having three score in double figures. Cierra Johnson led Alabama with 14 points and led everyone in rebounds with 14. Johnson also managed to play all 40 minutes of the game. Walker added 13 points while Ariyah Copeland had 10. As a team, they used the paint to their advantage, outscoring Ole Miss 24-12.
Ole Miss will host Tennessee this Sunday for the regular season finale before traveling to Greenville, South Carolina for the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday. The Rebels are currently the 12 seed, only in front of Vanderbilt and Florida.