Rebs roll in OT

The Lady Rebels continue to be plagued by poor finishes. However, their starts were nothing short of dominating Thursday.

Ole Miss (6-7) opened both halves and the overtime period on fire and put away Central Michigan (4-9) in the extra session after squandering double-digit advantages in each half. Tied at 65 after regulation, the Rebels outscored the Chippewas 16-5 and took the game 81-70.

"This is a great momentum builder for SEC play," Renee Ladner said. "Our defense was poor at times as we let them back into the game, but I thought we played with exceptional energy, especially in the overtime period."

Elizabeth Robertson played three positions on the night and totaled career highs in both points and rebounds. The sophomore connected from outside on four occasions and netted a team-high 19 points and 12 boards.

The Rebels charged out early with the first eight points of the game, including two Robertson treys. Getting ahead by as many as 12, Central Michigan cut the lead to three at the half.

Ole Miss again took back control and generated a 10-point advantage in second half before the Chippewas chipped away again.

Central Michigan's Stacey Verhoff connected on a 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining to give the visitors their first lead 62-61.

Shawn Goff secured 13 points with two of those coming on a lay-up with 26 seconds left to put Ole Miss back ahead by one. After a Central Michigan turnover and a missed free throw by Bianca Thomas, Robertson came up big again with an offensive board. Thomas followed with two free throws, giving the Rebels a three-point advantage.

But CMU's Shonda Long unleashed a three with two seconds left from five feet behind the line and tied the game to force overtime. It was a clutch shot, but the Chippewas were anything but in overtime.

The Rebels again rallied and scored the first 12 points of the overtime period to ice the contest.

Goff (13), Shantell Black (13) and Danetra Forrest (10) all joined Robertson in double figures.

"I banked in my first three and thought it might be a long night, but I got in rhythm," Robertson said. "Everything went well, and I was challenged to get rebounds. So, I played my role and we pulled it out."

Former Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross spent a week with Central Michigan to teach the Rebels' match-up zone early in the season. The familiarity allowed Ole Miss to adjust on offense and spark the overtime period.

The Rebels finished 51 percent from the field and 45 percent behind the arc. Ole Miss also outrebounded the smaller Chippewas 43-29.

Ole Miss has a full week off before traveling to Athens to face No. 7 Georgia Jan. 10 in both teams' Southeastern Conference opener.

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