OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI/Ole Miss Athletics) — Tia Faleru scored a career-high 24 points while Diara Moore added 17 as the Ole Miss women’s basketball team fell to Alabama, 83-75, Sunday afternoon.
With the loss, Ole Miss fell to 7-10 overall (0-4 SEC) while Alabama improved to 11-6 (1-3 SEC).
Tia Faleru scored in double figures for the ninth time this year, with her first career 20-point game as she finished with a game-high 24 points. On the year, she joins teammates Diara Moore, Valencia McFarland and Gracie Frizzell as Ole Miss players who have scored a 20-point game this season.
Moore scored in double figures for the team-leading 12th time this year as she scored 17 points and added a career-high five assists. Moore went 8-10 from the free throw line in the game and is now 18-20 from the line in the last three games.
McFarland recorded her 35th career game with five or more assists as she finished with seven assists and nine points.
As a team, Ole Miss shot 38.5 percent from the floor (25-65) while Alabama shot 44.8 percent (30-67). The Crimson Tide outrebounded Ole Miss 42-41 and Courtney Marbra led Ole Miss with seven rebounds.
“This is a tough loss for us. Coming into today, this was really a game we felt we could compete in, no to discredit to Alabama at 11-6. They are a long, athletic team that did a really nice job of setting the tone early,” head coach Brett Frank said. “They came out and hit us and really dominated us on the offensive rebounds. I thought our kids responded well in the second half and only gave up two offensive rebounds in the second half after giving up 15 in the first half. We talk a lot about playing a full 40 minutes. We aren’t team that has the luxury of getting ourselves in a hole and clawing ourselves out.”
The Crimson Tide built a 29-15 lead with 7:00 left in the first half after a 15-4 run. Four free throws from Moore on back-to-back possessions for Ole Miss cut Alabama’s lead to 31-20 with 4:48 to play.
At the half, the Crimson Tide led 43-30. Faleru led Ole Miss with 11 points at the half while Moore added nine. The Rebels shot 28.6 percent from the floor (10-35) while Alabama shot 36.8 percent (14-38).
The Rebels went on a 6-0 run to cut the Crimson Tide’s lead to nine, 52-43, with 16:19 left in the second half. Ole Miss went on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to six, 66-60, on a fast-break layup from Moore with 6:59 to play.
Ole Miss continued to chip away at Alabama’s lead in the second half, a three from Amber Singletary with 2:02 remaining to cut the lead to 79-73
Ole Miss will have a bye date on Thursday before hosting Missouri on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on Cox Sports TV.