Lady Rebs top UAB

The Ole Miss Lady Rebels, fresh off their 90-50 win over Tennessee State on Wednesday, defeated the UAB Blazers 71-52 to move to 6-1 on the young season. Ole Miss will have a 10-day break to finish first semester final exams before hosting No. 6 Rutgers on Wednesday, December 14, at Tad Smith Coliseum.

The Ole Miss Lady Rebels continued their winning ways Saturday afternoon with a 71-52 win over the UAB Blazers in front of 1,015 fans at Tad Smith Coliseum. The win was Ole Miss' third straight, while the loss dropped UAB to 1-4 on the season.

"It wasn't a great game, but it was a great win," third-year coach Carol Ross said. "We are happy we can go into exam week with some success on the basketball court."

Pre-season All-SEC guard Armintie Price led the Lady Rebels in scoring with her eighth straight game in double-digits, including 14 points in the second half. Along with her 16 points, Price added seven rebounds and four steals after sitting out most of the first half in foul trouble. Senior guard Ashley Johnson and junior guard Ashley Awkward poured in 12 points apiece to round out the double-digit scorers for the Lady Rebels. Awkward also led the team in assists with five, while sophomore forward Jada Mincy tied her season-high in rebounds with ten.

Ole Miss got up on the Blazers early. Johnson's jumper started a 17-2 run over the game's first eight minutes to give the Lady Rebels a commanding double-digit lead they would never relinquish.

UAB's leading scorer Crystal McFadden closed the gap to 22-9 with a jumper of her own, but the Lady Rebels then went on a 12-2 run to push the lead out to 34-11. Ole Miss led 36-17 at the half.

Ole Miss' pressure defense kept the Blazers' offense at bay in the first half, racking up 10 steals en route to forcing 15 turnovers at the break.

"They were rattling us in the first half," second-year UAB coach Audra Smith said. "We kept turning the ball over, and they capitalized off of that. Our guards got in foul trouble early, and we didn't have enough ball-handlers to bring the ball up the court."

The Blazers scored the first two baskets in the second half to cut the lead to 36-21, but three straight layups by Price sparked a 14-5 Ole Miss run that put the Lady Rebels up 50-26.

UAB kept battling, and Lakitha Murray's layup with 7:38 to play closed the gap to 54-41.

But the lead was too great for the Blazers to overcome, as Ole Miss went on a 7-0 run to push the lead back up to 20 points. UAB was unable to pull much closer, finally succumbing 71-52.

The Lady Rebels struggled to make free throws down the stretch, making only 17 free throws in 33 attempts. Ole Miss converted 26 baskets in 66 attempts from the field for a 39.4 percent clip. They also forced 27 turnovers while turning the ball over 16 times themselves. Ole Miss outrebounded UAB 45-38.

The Lady Rebels will now take a 10-day break before hosting No. 6 Rutgers at home on December 14 at 7 p.m. CST.

"This is our biggest gap of time between games this season, so we'll throw some new things at them for Rutgers," Ross said. "Our players need a break. They're physically and mentally tired. We've pushed and poked and prodded them to get to this point. They need some time to enjoy the success they've had this season."

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Scouting Rutgers

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights, fresh off their first Elite Eight appearance in the program's history, are 4-0 after defeating San Jose State 76-64 in the first round of the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa. The Scarlet Knights are led by three-time All-American guard Cappie Poindexter. Poindexter, who could have been the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft last season, decided to return to Rutgers for her senior season. She averaged 14.7 points and 3.1 assists per game last season. Rutgers also boasts last year's Big East Freshman of the Year Matee Ajovan, who averaged 12.5 points and 3.5 assists per game a season ago.

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