Women's hoops team wins exhibition contest

Ole Miss eeked out a 78-76 win against DT3 Sports Sunday afternoon in the lone women's exhibition game for the Rebels prior to tipping off the regular season. That will happen at 11 a.m. Friday when Southeastern Louisiana rolls into Oxford for the annual School Day game.

But Sunday was as much or more about getting players into the game and seeing how they would respond as winning. Getting a victory was simply icing on the cake in this non-counting contest.

"It was a good exhibition," said fourth-year UM head coach Carol Ross. "We didn't play well, obviously. But we got some idea of who can play well on gameday vs. who practices well. And in a tight game late, that's always good to see how players will respond in that situation. And as a coach, I saw some things that surprised me. I thought we were further along in some areas than we are."

The Rebels were led by senior guard Armintie Price with 27 points, playing with a face guard to protect her nose. She broke it last season in a game vs. Memphis. She will wear the guard all season to protect it.

"Armintie played like she always plays – with great effort and throwing her self around," Ross said. "She doesn't know how to play but one way and that's hard."

"I just did what I've been doing since I've been here," Price said. "Just play hard and score and try to play good defense. I want to help my teammates and try to be a good leader out there."

Price says the face guard does not bother her.

"It feels pretty comfortable," she said. "They had it made so it fits perfectly to my face."

The Rebels held their largest lead of the first half at 29-15 with 5:35 to go before halftime on a layup by senior center/forward Jada Mincy. But DT3 chipped away and was able to cut the UM lead to five points at halftime, 34-29.

Ole Miss quickly expanded the lead to as much as 17 points in the first five minutes of the second half. A jumper by freshman guard Shantell Black made it 48-31 UM with 16:41 to go in the game, capping a 14-2 Rebel run.

But as play continued, DT3 again got back in it and before it was over had taken the lead. A layup by Victoria Crawford gave the visitors a 74-73 advantage with 2:19 left.

A putback by Mincy off a senior guard Ashley Awkward miss gave UM a 75-74 lead with 1:16 to go. Mincy was fouled and sank the free throw for a 76-74 Reb lead. Ole Miss was able to hold on for the 78-76 victory.

In addition to Price's 27, junior center/forward Danetra Forrest had 15 points for Ole Miss. Crawford's 28 paced DT3.

Ole Miss shot 36 percent (28-78) from the floor for the game, but only 13 percent (2-15) from 3-point range. From the free throw line the Rebels shot 63 percent (20-32).

"There are some things we knew and some things we didn't know and still don't know about this team," Ross said. "But we got to see glimmers of all of them. This game gave us the opportunity to look at some things, get some things done, and to try to move this team forward as we open up Friday morning."

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