Ole Miss rally falls just short

Published 12:03 pm Monday, February 21, 2011

Ole Miss completed a remarkable comeback Sunday. Unfortunately, there was enough time left for Alabama to make it a moot point.

Ole Miss rallied from 23 points down in the first half to get within one with eight minutes left in the game, only to watch Alabama pull away for a 61-52 victory in Tuscaloosa. The Lady Rebels, who trailed 32-9 with 4:15 left in the first half, managed only one field goal over the final 6:08.

Nikki Byrd led Ole Miss (10-16, 3-11 Southeastern Conference) with 16 points and 18 rebounds, while Shae Nelson scored 13 points and Valencia McFarland 12.

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Ericka Russell scored a game-high 21 points for Alabama (15-12, 4-10), and Tierney Jenkins had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Florida 78, MSU 63

Florida used a 28-7 run in the second half to break open a tight game and went on to rout Mississippi State on Sunday.

Mississippi State (10-16, 2-12 SEC), which lost its third straight, led 40-37 with 15:52 to play. The Lady Bulldogs then went ice cold. They hit only two shots from the field in the next eight minutes, allowing Florida (15-13, 5-9) to pull away. Mississippi State never got closer than 10 points in the last six minutes.

Mary Kathryn Govero led Mississippi State with 17 points and Diamber Johnson scored 15. Lanita Bartley had a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Florida, while Jennifer George scored 21 points.

Rice 79, USM 52

Rice hit seven 3-pointers and went on a 17-2 run in the first half to pull away from Southern Miss early, then cruised to a victory in Hattiesburg.

Megan Mayse went 4-for-8 from 3-point range and finished with 27 points to lead Rice (17-10, 9-4 Conference USA). Jessica Kuster added 17 points.

Tanesha Washington scored 21 points for Southern Miss (10-16, 5-8), which trailed 46-29 at halftime and shot only 29.6 percent (8-for-27) in the second half.