UM women's hoops runs past Alabama 84-43

Ole Miss Rebel hoops made a clean sweep of the Alabama Crimson Tide this weekend. Saturday the men's team upset No. 18 Alabama 71-65. Sunday the Rebel women's team (19-7 overall, 8-3 in the SEC) made quick work of the Alabama women (10-16, 0-11)), beating them 84-43.

"We just started out slow," Alabama Coach Stephany Smith said. "It was as if we feel inevitably we are going to lose this game and lose it by a significant margin because that's what we've done all season."

The game started off shaky for both teams with neither team able to drive the length of the court without turning the ball over or being fouled.

"We're not a team that can just walk out and play and win. We've never been that team; we'll never be that team," Ole Miss Coach Carol Ross said. "All of our success comes from the defensive end. It scores easy buckets for us. People want to talk about how many points we score; well it's all off defense. We have one of the ugliest offenses in the world."

Ole Miss jumped out to an early 14-6 lead in the first half thanks in part to Armintie Price's charity work, making 8-of-8 free throws.

Ole Miss would take a 31-22 lead later in the half on an Ashley Awkward breakaway lay-up, two of her 11 first-half points.

Thanks to 12-of-12 free throw shooting by the Lady Rebs, and 21 turnovers by the visiting Tide, Ole Miss went into halftime with a 38-26 lead.

Alabama did however lead in one statistical category in the first half. They out-rebounded the Rebels 26-18 in the first half, and 55-37 for the game.

Ole Miss came out of the gate strong in the second half, opening the period of play by going on a 15-3 run.

The Rebs would stretch their lead to 61-37 when Price put an ally-lay-up (as opposed to an ally-oop) in the hoop for two.

From there on out the Rebels were almost unstoppable, scoring the games' last 14 points. Alabama's last basket, a Talisha Chandler score, was made with 5:34 left in the second half.

After only playing seven minutes in the first half due to two quick fouls, Price had a game-high 19 points at the end of the game, playing 22 minutes.

Bianca Thomas and Awkward finished with 17 points apiece.

One note of importance for the Rebels was Ross' ability to get every player in the game.

"I thought our depth isn't always quality, but today I thought our depth was really good," Ross said. "Bianca came in and played out of necessity because Armintie had picked up two early fouls. With some of these younger players you sense that they're getting ready to acclimate to the pace of SEC play."

While Alabama did win the rebounding battle, they lost the turnover fight, giving up the ball 40 times in the game, resulting in 38 Rebel points.

"When you expend as much energy as we do on the defensive end and you work as hard as we do, you're not going to join the turnover festival," Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross said. "You've got to value the basketball. You work too hard to get it to give it back. We talked about that at halftime."

The Rebels' next game will be Thursday when they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to take on All-American F/C/G Candace Parker and the Lady Vols. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. on CSS.

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