OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss had played 96 games with no overtime before the Rebels defeated Florida in a 78-75 double-overtime thriller Sunday at The Pavilion. Entering the game, Ole Miss owned the nation’s 10th-longest active streak without an overtime game.
“Great win for us,” Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell said after the victory.
“It obviously had a lot of ups and downs. That game, for us, was won and lost about 10 or 11 times, but our kids kept battling. I’m real proud of them.”
Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell
Alissa Alston (14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals) and Madinah Muhammad (11 points, nine assists) were held to 14 combined points in regulation; however, the two juniors stepped up in the overtime periods and helped lead Ole Miss (11-5, 1-2 SEC) to the league win over the Gators (8-8, 0-3 SEC).
(Click here for box score.)
In overtime, the two Rebels combined for 11 total points in both periods. Alston scored six in the first overtime, including a game-tying layup that forced a second overtime.
In the second overtime, Muhammad took over, hitting a layup with 1:21 remaining that gave the Rebels a 74-72 lead. Florida refused to go away, however, and Haley Lorenzen (19 points, 10 rebounds) hit a three-pointer with 57 seconds to play that gave the Gators a 75-74 lead.
Muhammad wasn’t done yet, either, going to the line four times in the final three seconds, nailing all four to give Ole Miss a 78-75 win.
“She struggled offensively for a majority of the night, but she found a way to get going there at the end and made some huge free throws,” Insell said of Muhammad.
Bench scoring huge for the Rebels
During regulation, it was the Ole Miss bench who kept the Rebels in the game and even gave their team the lead, outscoring the Gators’ bench, 39-5. Thirty-six of those 39 came from Promise Taylor (16 points, eight rebounds, three assists), Torri Lewis (12 points), and Kate Rodgers (eight points, nine rebounds).
That Ole Miss bench scoring was a large part of the Rebels’ 31-21 halftime lead, but the Gators outscored the Rebels 22-12 in the fourth period, forcing overtime on a put-back layup by Dyandria Anderson (12 points, six rebounds).
Fortunately for the Rebels, Alston and Muhammad were on top of their respective games in overtime.
“We had to be the more desperate team to get a win, and we were the more desperate team there,” Insell said.
Ole Miss travels to Starkville to face No 3/5 Mississippi State on Thursday, January 11.