DULUTH, Ga. – Ole Miss advanced easily in the first round of the SEC women’s basketball tournament. but Mississippi State suffered a disastrous defeat.

Ole Miss (21-9) forced a tournament-record 42 turnovers and beat Alabama 78-49. The Rebels advance to play No. 11 LSU today at 7 p.m.

Armintie Price, the senior from Myrtle, scored 26 points in the victory.

Mississippi State, meanwhile, suffered a 69-63 loss to Florida, which improved to 9-21.

Thursday’s loss – the Bulldogs’ fourth in their last five games – could doom any shot for MSU of making the NCAA women’s tournament.

The Bulldogs (17-13) defeated Florida 79-74 earlier in the season, leading to the firing of Carolyn Peck as the Gators’ coach, effective at the end of the season.

That could come as soon as today, with Florida meeting 13th-ranked Vanderbilt at 8:30 p.m.

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