Ole Miss Guard Erika Sisk ends time in Tad Pad on a high note
Ole Miss junior point guard Erika Sisk knows what it means to suit up and play for the Rebels inside the historic Tad Smith Coliseum. And on Sunday against Vanderbilt in the Tad Pad finale, Sisk was determined to end her time there on a high note.
And, did she ever! She finished with the game-winning three-point play off an isolation play that resulted in Sisk driving into the lane, dribbling with her left hand, going up over the Commodores’ Marque’s Webb for the play that thrilled the crowd one last time before Ole Miss moves into the $95 million arena, The Pavilion, on Jan. 10 against Florida.
The Rebels won 55-52 in their Southeastern Conference opener over Vanderbilt (11-3, 0-1), and Sisk finished the game with 18 points, six steals, and three assists. The last-second shot and win stamped a legacy sentence in Sisk’s career bio at Ole Miss.
The Rebels finished with an all-time record of 410-126 inside Tad Smith Coliseum.
“It means a lot,” the Oxford native said when asked her feelings about the Tad Pad finale. “Coming from Oxford, Mississippi, I was here to end the last game in the coliseum,” Sisk said.
Sisk’s road to Ole Miss
After leading Oxford High School to three straight state tournaments and a 33-0 undefeated season and state title in 2012, Sisk spent one season at Murray State where she earned Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year after averaging 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 steals. She earned a spot in the league’s All-Newcomer squad and OVC Freshman of the Week honors a record nine times.
Sisk returned to her roots the following season, but had to sit out a year and didn’t play until the 2014-15 season. And in Sisk’s mind, there’s no place like home.
Sisk inspired by watching Armintie Price compete for the Rebels
Sisk still remembers her days sitting in the stands at the Tad Smith Coliseum, watching Ole Miss legend Armintie Price (now Armintie Price-Herrington) torch defenses night in and night out.
Sisk grew up idolizing Price, who led Ole Miss to the Elite Eight in March 2007 with a 90-82 win over Oklahoma. In the same year, Price joined Cheryl Miller as the only two players in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 400 steals in a career.
And Sisk wants her name to be somewhere in the conversation as one of the best guards to suit up for the Rebels (9-5, 1-0). She feels the best way to do it is to play hard each and every night.
Sisk explained where her love for Ole Miss basketball began:
Price and another Ole Miss legend, Peggie Gillom, were in attendance and watched as Sisk added her game-winning play to the rest of the great endings that had already happened inside the Tad Pad. Sisk didn’t have time to rest or take a breather as her teammates joyously surrounded and congratulated her for leading them to their third-straight victory.
She didn’t even have a chance to hug her idol, Price, and lost count of the hugs and high-fives she gave out.
“I didn’t get a chance to go to Armintie but I am going to, trust me,” said Sisk, who suffered a few leg cramps after the game, playing a total of 37 minutes. “I couldn’t keep count of who I hugged. My church was there, that was like over 100 people. I also hugged some of the fans.”
After the game, Sisk received the game ball–for the last basket ever made in the Tad Smith Coliseum–from Director of Athletics Ross Bjork.
— Matt Insell (@minsell) January 4, 2016
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.