Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mike Siroky's SEC/WNIT Report: Ole Miss Gets Conference Postseason Off to Winning Start

<b> By Mike Siroky </b>

Matt Insell, the rising coach in the Southeastern Conference of women's basketball, claimed the first post-season national win for the SEC, 80-70 over Tennessee-Martin, the Ohio Valley regular season champions, to open the WNIT Wednesday night.

With 18 wins and at least one more game to come, Insell is using the imprint of state rival Mississippi State to steadily improve. 

Ole Miss was a win away from making the NCAA this season, The Rebels will make it next year.

 They defeated NCAA participants LSU, Arkansas, LSU and NCAA No. 2 seed Kentucky this season.

A freshman and a strong bench led them in the first post-season win since 2009.

Kelsey Brigg, who is from Tennessee, scored a season-best 19. The reserves scored 37.

"I have told everyone that listened that Kelsey Briggs is going to step up and replace Tia Faleru," said Insell. "She has a lot of growth to do. She is a good player. I am glad I have her and I wouldn't trade her for anything."

Faleru is the Rebels' all-SEC player. 

She scored a dozen in what may have been her final home game. 

That is pending Friday night's Georgia Tech/Elon game and the assignment of the second round. 

 Erika Sisk scored 16 points. Shequila Joseph  led  rebounding with seven. Ole Miss shot 55.8 (29-of-52) percent from the field and reached the 50 percent mark for the second time this season.

"We worked really hard," said Insell, citing the 55 percent." 

It is a true credit to how hard they worked. They were in the gym during the break and just putting in a lot of effort.
"We started off a little sluggish and then we came together and got it going. We took good shots. I am just really proud of everybody. Kiara Golden came in and had a big 10 minutes in the first half with eight points."
The first half  dog fight saw the teams trade baskets for the majority of the half, but Ole Miss was able to use a 9-0 run, sparked by baskets from the Ole Miss bench.

 Golden nailed a 3  while Briggs and Shandricka Sessom combined for six and Ole Miss had a 27-20 lead.

Ole Miss opened the second half with back-to-back 3s by Sisk and Briggs on the way to a  23-point edge with 124:50 left.

The Rebels clamped down on defense and cruised.

"It is Ole Miss basketball at its finest right now with young players. said Insell. "We have matured a lot.

 "We don't know how to play in our league right now, but we are working on that. It's a battle night in and night out. I am really proud of them."
Tia Faleru played 22 minutes. She is averaging 35 minutes.

 "That was because of foul trouble, that is big for us," Insell said. "It is just part of it. A'Queen Hayes, Erika Sisk, Shequila Joseph and Kelsey Briggs just had some really big minutes for us. Our kids are getting better. We are young and they are getting better."

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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