COLUMBIA, Mo. (Ole Miss Athletics/ WTVA) – A season-best offensive showing in the third quarter helped bridge the gap, but the Ole Miss women's basketball team was never able to overcome a slow first half as Missouri pulled away toward an 82-67 win on Sunday.
Ole Miss put together a splendid effort in the aforementioned third frame, scoring an SEC season-high 29 points on 12-of-22 shooting and a 5-of-9 line from beyond the arc, but was unable to slow down a Tiger offense that shot 51 percent overall.
"We just had an awful start," said Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. "I thought we had a good gameplan, but we did not execute it in the first half at all. In the second half we scored 51 points, but we just couldn't get it going offensively in the first."
Ole Miss received two spectacular individual performances from freshman Jayla Alexander (23 points, five rebounds, two assists, 5-of-12 3PT) and sophomore Taylor Smith (21 points, one rebound, 3-of-7 3PT), who both scored career highs and combined for 44 of the Rebels' 67 total points. Both were instrumental in that third quarter run, scoring 22 of their 44 in that frame alone. The duo also combined for eight of the nine Rebel three-pointers on the evening.
For Smith, Sunday's contest was the latest in a recent string of offensive prowess. In her last four games (including Sunday) dating back to a Feb. 13 game at Florida, Smith is averaging 14.8 points per game, shooting 23-of-47 (.489) overall and 8-of-14 (.571) from beyond the arc. Prior to this timeframe, Smith was averaging 4.7 points per game on the entire season and had only hit three trifectas in her career.
The Rebels also received another strong performance from starting point guard Mimi Reid, who notched 15 points, seven assists, four rebounds and two steals in 38 minutes played. Reid has now scored in double digits in four straight for the first time in her career, and in that span she is averaging 14.0 points and 39.0 minutes per game.