WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts

Balanced attack leads Rebels to 73-55 win over Alcorn State

The Ole Miss women's basketball team leaned on its defense in the first half and a multi-pronged offensive attack in the latter half toward a 73-55 win over Alcorn State to open the Daytona Beach Invitational on Friday night.

Posted: Dec 14, 2019 11:04 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2019 2:50 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Ole Miss Athletics) – The Ole Miss women's basketball team leaned on its defense in the first half and a multi-pronged offensive attack in the latter half toward a 73-55 win over Alcorn State to open the Daytona Beach Invitational on Friday night.

The Rebels (5-2) won their third straight after shooting an efficient 51.7 percent from the field overall while holding the Lady Braves (3-5) to just 31 percent on the night – 18.9 percent in a defensively dominant first half. Both teams exploded offensively in the second half, scoring a combined 87 points, but the Rebel trio of Valerie Nesbitt (20 points), Dominique Banks (15 points) and Taylor Smith (13 points) combined for 35 points in the second half by themselves.

"I was glad we came out in the second half and played with better energy and intensity," said Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "I feel like in the beginning in the first two quarters we were doing a good job defensively, but I didn't think we were as aggressive on the offensive end. Nevertheless, we started to get our groove and share the ball."

Ole Miss jumped out of the gates hot, winning the first quarter 15-6 and beginning what would wind up as a 17-0 run across the first two quarters amidst a 10:22 Alcorn State scoring drought that lasted from 4:25 left in the first quarter until the 4:03 mark of the second.

"We want to be known as a defensive unit, and so that's something we have to continue to work on by taking care of business defensively to give us easier opportunities on the offensive end," McPhee-McCuin said.

Alcorn, though, closed the frame on a 9-0 run to close the Rebel lead to 25-16 at the break.

Both teams lit the net up in the third quarter, tying 20-20 on a combined 16-of-31 (51.6 percent) shooting line, but it was junior Dominique Banks that put the team on her back and kept the Rebels ahead. Banks, who ended with her first career double-double at 15 points and 14 rebounds (the most rebounds by a Rebel since Bretta Hart hauled in 18 vs. Western Kentucky on Dec. 2, 2015), scored nine of her 15 in the third quarter alone.

The fourth quarter was the Valerie Nesbitt show, who was playing in front of her mom for the first time since leaving the Bahamas after high school. Nesbitt scored 15 of her career-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, including the last 11 points not scored from the free throw line for Ole Miss. Taylor Smith scored six of her 13 in the final frame as well to help the Rebels toward a 28-19 advantage in the fourth quarter.

The Rebels out-rebounded Alcorn State by a wide 52-32 margin and dominated the Lady Braves in the paint, 42-16.

"I saw a lot of different people step up and do different things," McPhee-McCuin said. "It was exciting to see our posts get involved on the offensive end by running the floor and making tough baskets. I just think we're continuing to be a work in progress. I think our strength is in the team. Like I said before, we'll have a different person that is the leading scorer for us every single night because we are team-oriented."

Ole Miss now has a quick turnaround, squaring off against Pitt (2-4) at 4:45 p.m. CT on Saturday.

"Now we're going to watch film and get prepared for Pitt," McPhee-McCuin said. "Totally different ball game, and we're looking forward to the opportunity.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38567

Reported Deaths: 1290
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds318859
DeSoto211220
Madison158940
Jones126651
Harrison126017
Rankin123420
Forrest110544
Neshoba105978
Lauderdale98383
Scott84315
Jackson82820
Washington80615
Copiah69616
Leake66420
Lee66223
Grenada64713
Oktibbeha64428
Lamar6257
Warren61622
Holmes61442
Leflore58856
Wayne58819
Yazoo5847
Lowndes56917
Sunflower5659
Lincoln54436
Pike53724
Lafayette5364
Panola5176
Monroe49139
Simpson4803
Covington4735
Bolivar46318
Tate43113
Pontotoc4066
Attala39424
Adams39221
Newton38410
Marion36312
Pearl River32332
Claiborne32212
Winston31413
Chickasaw31319
Marshall3104
Jasper3016
Walthall29210
Noxubee2869
Clay27411
Union26611
Smith26312
Coahoma2516
Clarke24125
Tallahatchie2394
Lawrence2222
Yalobusha2169
Montgomery1973
Carroll19611
Kemper18914
Calhoun1875
Humphreys18410
Itawamba1638
Hancock16214
Tippah15411
Webster13611
Jefferson1353
Prentiss1344
George1313
Jefferson Davis1304
Tunica1293
Greene12510
Tishomingo1251
Amite1243
Alcorn1232
Quitman1111
Wilkinson1079
Perry994
Stone852
Choctaw794
Franklin602
Benton580
Sharkey540
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 58225

Reported Deaths: 1183
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7449176
Mobile5349157
Montgomery4732118
Madison290112
Tuscaloosa283754
Marshall213313
Shelby188027
Lee179337
Baldwin149912
Morgan14897
DeKalb11457
Etowah113614
Walker113537
Elmore111825
Dallas103312
Franklin97016
Unassigned84228
Russell7610
Autauga74318
Limestone7254
Cullman7136
Chambers69932
Houston6848
St. Clair6714
Lauderdale6647
Tallapoosa66272
Butler65931
Calhoun6426
Colbert6138
Escambia56212
Jackson5113
Pike5016
Lowndes49723
Coffee4734
Covington45214
Talladega4517
Dale4283
Barbour4263
Bullock38110
Marengo38111
Hale37523
Chilton3693
Blount3671
Marion35514
Clarke3396
Wilcox3328
Winston3167
Sumter30613
Randolph28610
Monroe2833
Pickens2827
Perry2702
Conecuh2558
Bibb2382
Macon2359
Choctaw22112
Greene2029
Washington1679
Henry1653
Lawrence1590
Crenshaw1433
Cherokee1407
Geneva1100
Lamar961
Clay942
Fayette923
Coosa681
Cleburne621
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Overcast
80° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 76°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Overcast
74° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 74°
Oxford
Few Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 85°
Starkville
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather