8:00 PM ET, December 14, 2005
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi earned its second big home victory of the season. This time, coach Carol Ross hopes someone notices.The Rebels beat No. 7 Rutgers 67-57 on Wednesday night behind 22 points apiece from Armintie Price and Ashley Johnson."Anytime you beat a team like Rutgers, it propels you," Ross said. "The good news is Rutgers is on the East Coast, and anytime you beat a strong East Coast program, everybody in the country knows it. There will be a ripple effect from this game."It was the Rebels' first home victory over a Top 10 team in nearly a decade, dating to a 78-72 win over No. 3 Tennessee on Feb. 4, 1996.Ole Miss (7-1) also beat a ranked team for the second time this season. The Rebels beat then-No. 14 Texas Tech 72-69 last month and have won four straight since a loss to Villanova."Our team will embrace what this win can do for them," Ross said. "It's no secret that we're going to play well at home. The secret is out."Cappie Poindexter had 13 of her 16 points in the second half to lead Rutgers (8-1).The Scarlet Knights trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but pulled to 52-49 with about 3 minutes remaining on Poindexter's layup.Ole Miss then used an 8-1 run, keyed by Price, to push its lead back to 10 points. Price's breakaway steal and layup made it 60-50 with 1:18 left.The Rebels then went 7-of-8 from the line in the final minute to seal it."It's an important win, and it will definitely help us for the [Southeastern Conference] coming up," Price said.Ashley Awkward added 13 points for the Rebels, who were 24-of-37 from the line, while the Scarlet Knights were 10-of-15.Johnson finished four points shy of her career high of 26 set two seasons ago against Arkansas-Pine Bluff."We knew what Armintie was going to do. There just wasn't anything we could do about it," Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. "We did not know a lot about Johnson, who hurt us, too."Matee Ajavon had 11 points before fouling out for Rutgers.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press