Friday, January 12, 2007

OXFORD — Ole Miss coach Carol Ross had to fight her team after Sunday's win against Vanderbilt.
It wasn't an actual brawl. It was more of a chew-out session. But the attitude adjustment was deemed necessary after noticing the Lady Rebels weren't handling a big win against a ranked team the way she expected.
"I fought them for a day-and-a-half," Ross said. "I figured if they could get through me, LSU would be easy. They got through both of us."
Four days after beating 11th-ranked Vanderbilt, Ole Miss proved it got Ross' message by delivering a bigger surprise with a 77-74 win against No. 5 LSU in front of 2,661 in Tad Smith Coliseum.
The Lady Rebels (14-4, 3-0 SEC) blistered the nation's top-ranked scoring defense in the first half to open a 17-point lead, then found enough offense after the break to hold off a fierce LSU comeback. It helped the Ole Miss snap an 11-game losing streak to the Tigers (15-2, 1-1) and send a stern message to the rest of the SEC.
"The Vandy win was good," Ross said. "I'm not sure what people thought of that win. But I know they didn't think we could turn around and back it up with another one."
Guard Alliesha Easley led the Lady Rebels with 19 points against LSU, which allowed a season high after giving up just 43.6 points a game. Ole Miss, the nation's third-best scoring team (82.1 points), shot 46.9 percent from the field in the first half and closed the first half with a 21-6 run to open a 38-21 halftime lead.
But LSU, which won its last three games after trailing at the half, mounted a comeback after the break. Sylvia Fowles (25 points, 19 rebounds) and Quianna Chaney (19 points) led LSU on a 20-5 run to creep to within 43-41 with 12:16 left.
The Tigers closed to within two on three different occasions in the second half, but Ole Miss always had an answer. The Lady Rebels went up 75-64 with 56 seconds left, then held off one last LSU charge to seal the win.
"It's a great win," said Armintie Price, who scored 18 points and was still wary of her coach's message after the game. "We work so hard and once you do it, it's unbelievable. We want to sit back and relax, but we know we have another game on Sunday."

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