Credit: Ole Miss Athletics
Facing off against the No. 1 team in the nation on its home court, Ole Miss stood strong against South Carolina in the first half but could not exert enough firepower for 40 minutes, falling 85-56 from Colonial Life Arena on Sunday.
Led by Madison Scott with an SEC-high 17 points, Ole Miss (16-6, 6-3 SEC) could not hand No. 1 South Carolina (21-0, 9-0 SEC) its first loss of the season or snap its 51 game home winning streak. Marquesha Davis joined Scott in double-figures, finishing with 10 points for her eighth consecutive game in double-digits.
Putting on the pressure defensively right from the jump with Ole Miss forcing South Carolina on the inside, holding the Gamecocks to a three minute scoring drought early in the opening quarter. Both teams struggled to maintain possession of the ball, with a combined ten turnovers in the first frame. By shooting 6-of-7 from the charity stripe, Ole Miss closed in on South Carolina to trail by two at 17-15 through one.
As Davis worked to keep Ole Miss flowing offensively, the shots were not falling for Ole Miss to begin the second quarter. A 6-0 run from South Carolina created separation, yet Ole Miss fired back with three straight buckets of its own to force a one possession game. Pulling back ahead by an 8-0 run, South Carolina grabbed a 40-31 lead headed into halftime.
The Gamecocks size on the interior made it an issue for Ole Miss to score inside the paint, while South Carolina thrived on the inside at the opposite end of the floor. With South Carolina leading by as many as 15, Ole Miss began to make-up ground due to the efforts of Scott. With the Gamecocks defense restricting the Rebels, South Carolina took a 16-point lead at 60-44 through three.
As South Carolina extended its lead by as many as 29, Ole Miss had run out of energy against the nation’s No. 1 team by falling to the undefeated Gamecocks, 85-56.
Celebrating Girls and Women in Sports Day on Thursday (Feb. 8), the Rebels return to the SJB Pavilion to host Texas A&M. Ole Miss faces off against the Aggies at 6:30 p.m. CT, streaming on SEC Network +.