Behind 33 bench points, No. 6 Texas was able to outrun Ole Miss 74-50 Sunday afternoon at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Key in the effort was junior Erika Arriaran, who went 3-4 from the 3-point line in backup duty for 14 total points on the day.
"It was a pretty good game in the first 18 minutes, but after that you could have packed it up and taken it to the house," said Ole Miss head coach Renee Ladner. "Texas dominated us for the most part and in the entire second half."
What first started as a hard-fought contest from the onset ended in a runaway victory for the Longhorns. Ole Miss got the scoring started with a layup by senior Shawn Goff in the game's early minutes.
However, Texas guard Carla Cortijo quickly answered with a bucket of here own, nodding the game at two apiece. Goff would follow with four more for the home team, pushing the Lady Rebels out in front 6-2. But after a 3-pointer by guard Alliesha Easley made the score 9-4, the Longhorns began to run.
Texas scored four-straight points, sparking a 15-6 run, to take the lead 18-15 midway through the first half. There were seven lead changes in the first half, with each team exchanging multiple baskets. Neither team was able to gain a sizeable lead throughout most of the period, but a 10-0 run by Texas as halftime approached gave the team the largest lead for either team at 26-36.
But with only 15 seconds left, Ole Miss pushed the floor and Rebel junior Bianca Thomas dialed long distance for buzzer-beating basket. The score cut the Longhorn lead to seven at 36-29.
Texas shot 52 percent from the field on the period, with the bench adding 19 in the first half alone.
An 8-0 run to start the second would put Texas ahead by double digits. Senior Eanesia Williams led the charge with four points, extending the lead by 13 at 42-29. However, the Rebels answered with a 6-0 run of their own, cutting the lead to nine.
The Longhorns ended the threat as a 12-2 stretch made the score 56-37 with a little over 8 minutes to go in the contest. The Rebels would get no closer than 15 the rest of the way as the score went final.
Goff paced the Rebels with 15 points and three rebounds on the game. Freshman Nikki Byrd aided with four points and 11 rebounds. The team shot 26.2 percent on the game, while losing the rebounding battle 34-47.
Texas outscored Ole Miss 38-21 in the second.
"I'm real proud of my team," said Longhorn head coach Gail Goestenkors. "Everybody knows this is a tough place to play. Ole Miss is having a tremendous year. We knew this would be a battle. Our bench did a great job, especially when our starters got into foul trouble early, of keeping us in the game. Our depth was the deciding factor in the game."
A storied rivalry, Sunday's game marked the sixth meeting between Ole Miss and Texas and first since the 1988-89 season. The Longhorns own a 4-1 record in the all-time series that dates back to the 1981-82 season.
Most recently, however, Ole Miss defeated Texas 88-67 on Dec. 12, 1988 in a matchup of a pair of Top 10 teams. That 21-point victory by Ole Miss stands as the largest margin of victory in the all-time series. Texas won the first four games between the two.
Ole Miss returns to action Sunday afternoon at North Carolina State. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
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