Rebels rally from early deficit to top Middle Tennessee

Ole Miss returns to action Saturday.

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 10:54 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell preached toughness in every facet of the game in his pregame speech. As it turned out, the Rebels relied on exactly that to rally to victory over Middle Tennessee on Wednesday night at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.


The Rebels' senior leader, Shandricka Sessom, went down with a knee injury at the 2:01 mark of the opening quarter, and Ole Miss trailed by 12 after the opening period, but a tremendous second-half rally carried them through in a 65-56 win.

"We'll know more on Shandricka in the morning," Insell said. "I feel bad for her. She's such a great kid. She's in great spirits. She's smiling. We've got a lot of injuries right now, but it's next man up. We've got players playing in positions they've never played before right now, but you tell them what do to do and they do it. I'm so proud of them."

The Blue Raider defense frustrated the Rebels in the early going, as they were held without a field goal through the first 9:26. Ole Miss found itself behind 17-5 after one quarter and trailed 26-17 at the half, but a dominant third quarter flipped the script, giving the advantage to the home team.

"I was just so proud of our team. Every adjustment we asked them to make at halftime, they made it," Insell said. "We came out in the second half and just battled through."

A key four-point sequence early in the second half set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The Rebels drew a foul after a made free throw by junior Alissa Alston, and junior Madinah Muhammad capitalized, burying a corner three to make it a five-point game. The Chicago native hit another three shortly thereafter, setting the stage for freshman Chyna Nixon to hit two free throws on the following possession to tie it at 28.

Alston gave the Rebels their first lead with two makes at the stripe, where she was 14-of-16 at the free throw line on the night, two shy of the single-game record of 16 set by Rebel great, and the team’s current coordinator of player engagement, Armintie Herrington. The New Haven, Connecticut, native finished with a team-high 22 points.

After claiming the lead, Ole Miss never looked back. Junior Torri Lewis went back-to-back from beyond the arc to give the Rebels some breathing room as they used a 23-3 run to take a 46-37 lead into the final period.

The Blue Raiders battled back, cutting the deficit to just four in the final two minutes of play, but the Rebels finished the job at the free throw line to give their head coach his first win against his father, Middle Tennessee coach Rick Insell.

"Really good win for our team. Really gutsy performance," Insell said. "We beat a really good basketball team today. Couldn't be more proud of our team, couldn't be more proud to be their coach. I love every single one of them."

Ole Miss returns to action Saturday. The Rebels will host Arkansas State at 3 p.m. CT as part of a doubleheader at The Pavilion.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
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Washington3321108
Lamar301950
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Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
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Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
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Simpson154053
Adams147252
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Leake141844
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Covington130040
Tippah130030
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Hancock127641
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Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
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St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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