January 11, 2019 10:13:33 AM
OXFORD -- Ayana Mitchell had a game-high 16 points Thursday night to lead the LSU women's basketball team to a 55-41 victory against Ole Miss in a Southeastern Conference game at The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
LSU (11-4, 2-1 SEC), which entered the game as the league's top-ranked defense, limited Ole Miss (6-11, 0-3) to 12-for-40 shooting from the field.
"That was a rough one," Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said. "It was going to be that type of grind-it-out game. There's a reason why that team has 11 wins and only four losses. They beat us at that type of game. Last game (against Arkansas), I thought we got outcoached. This game, I don't think we got outcoached. My job is to give the players an opportunity to have success, and I felt like from a game-planning standpoint, we did that. What you're seeing is an experienced team versus an inexperienced team."
Shanice Norton added 11 points and Khayla Pointer had 10 points for LSU, which had a 34-24 rebounding edge and forced 23 turnovers.
Crystal Allen led the Rebels with 12 points. She was 1-for-12 from the field. Shandricka Sessom had 11 points and 10 rebounds. La'Karis Salter, a transfer from Mississippi State and Jacksonville, had nine points, three rebounds, and two steals.
Ole Miss will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on No. 16 Kentucky at noon Sunday (SEC Network).
n Auburn 66, Alabama 56: At Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Daisa Alexander scored 22 points and had four steals Thursday night to lead the Tigers past the Crimson Tide at Coleman Coliseum.
Auburn (14-2, 2-1 SEC) had 16 steals and forced 25 turnovers. The Tigers scored 28 points off turnovers. They also had 42 points in the paint.
"We'll take that ugly win," Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We had to scrap and fight and grind to get it. We told the team that this would be a game of runs. In a game like this, the Xs and Os go out the door. It comes down to who wants it more and who's going to fight the hardest for it. We had to go through their little storm then come back and get ready to play."
Unique Thompson added 12 points, while Crystal Primm had 10 for Auburn. Nine of the 10 Auburn players who played had at least one steal. Erin Howard had three steals and a team-best five assists.
Auburn led 36-23 at halftime. It dealt with turnover troubles and a scoring drought in the third quarter. The Tigers committed seven turnovers in the period as Alabama cut the deficit to as few as five points. But Auburn's defensive pressure came alive in the fourth quarter and pushed the margin back to 57-46 with 5:07 remaining.
Jasmine Walker led Alabama with 18 points. Shaquera Wade had 13 and Ariyah Copeland added 12.
"We can't turn it over 25 times and give up 28 points off those turnovers," Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. "I thought there were a couple interesting categories, we outrebounded them by six and we got three more shots. A lot of things we missed, we missed 12 layups. Those things coupled with not defending and the turnovers we just can't do that, so the margin of error against their experience is really small and you just have to credit them. I thought Janiah McKay and Daisa Alexander with their experience and season, made big plays for them all night long."
Alabama will travel to College Station, Texas, to take on Texas A&M at 1 p.m. Sunday (ESPNU).
n Middle Tennessee State 66, Southern Mississippi 49: At Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Alex Johnson and Jess Louro had 16 points Thursday night to lead the Lady Raiders past the Lady Eagles in a Conference USA game.
Taylor Sutton had 15 points, and Ole Miss transfer A'Queen Hayes had 12 points and six assists for MTSU (12-4, 3-0 C-USA).
Megan Brown led Southern Miss (8-8, 0-3) with 14 points. Alarie Mayze had 11. Shonte Hailes had six points and six assists.
Southern Miss will take on Alabama-Birmingham at 2 p.m. Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.
n Itawamba Community College 66, Northeast Mississippi C.C. 61: At Fulton, Shaniyah Buford had 14 points to lead the Lady Indians to their victory in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division game.
Taneshia Miller had 12 points and Kealy Wilson added 11 for ICC (9-2, 1-0 division).
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