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Ole Miss women’s basketball defeats No. 23 Kentucky, 63-54, on the road

Ole Miss women’s basketball defeats No. 23 Kentucky, 63-54, on the road

With win over Wildcats, Rebels knock off second ranked team of the season

Ole Miss women’s basketball, off to the program’s best start in SEC play in 12 seasons, defeated No. 23 Kentucky, 63-54, on the road in Rupp Arena Sunday.

(Click here for box score.)

The win moves the Rebels to 17-2, 5-1 (SEC) and gives Ole Miss its second win over a ranked team this season.

Throughout the game, the physical Wildcats — led by star Rhyne Howard — would keep fighting, cutting the Ole Miss lead time and time again. But Ole Miss’ Shakira Austin and the Rebels responded each and every time, and head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin was glad her team faced a challenge.

We need to be pushed, we need to be challenged…for us to be able to find a way to win and on the defensive end is something we need to keep us even-keeled.

Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin

Austin finished with her sixth 20-point game of the season, scoring 24 against Kentucky. Four Rebels finished in double figures: Snudda Collins tied a season-high with four three-pointers to score 12 on the day.

Madison Scott tallied 10 points, with seven coming in the fourth quarter, while Lashonda Monk also scored 10 and came up with two steals.

With stifling defense as a trademark, the Rebels didn’t allow Kentucky to score a single three today as the Wildcats went 0-6 from deep. This marks the second time this season Ole Miss didn’t allow a three.

As part of that defensive show, Shakira Austin notched two blocks in the game, the 11th time this season she’s had a multi-block performance.

The Rebels scored 18 points off 20 Kentucky turnovers.

Paying Respect to a Legend

During the game, Coach Yo wore a t-shirt bearing the image of legendary women’s basketball player Lucia “Lucy” Harris who passed away January 18.

Harris led Delta State to three national championships.

I’m wearing a Lucy Harris t-shirt. I was able to find out about her story this past week, and I was just so drawn by it. Our team watched the documentary. I wanted to pay respects to her by wearing the shirt and to her family who gave me permission.

Coach Yo on Lucy Harris

Courtesy of Rick Cleveland, here are some of Harris’ accomplishments:

  • She averaged 26 points and 14.5 rebounds per game for her four-year Delta State career and was the MVP of all three national tournaments.
  • She once scored 58 points in a game against Tennessee Tech. She scored 47 points in one of the first women’s games ever played at Madison Square Garden.
  • She starred on several U.S. National teams and scored the first basket in Olympic women’s basketball history in 1976. That U.S. team won the silver medal.
  • She remains the only woman ever drafted by an NBA team. The New Orleans Jazz famously drafted Harris in the seventh round in 1977. She declined to try out. There was no WNBA at the time. Harris played one season in a fledging women’s professional league and then returned to the Delta to coach high school basketball.

Looking to enter the Top 25

Ole Miss should move into the Top 25 this coming week. 

I’m very pleased and happy that we may finally get that recognition (Top 25). I want to give all the credit to our players. They have worked tirelessly.

Head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin

What’s Next?

Ole Miss will remain idle on Thursday and enjoy a week in between games before a home matchup with No. 13 Georgia next Sunday (Jan. 30) from the SJB Pavilion. Tipoff versus the Bulldogs is set for 2 p.m. CT on SECN +.

(Feature image courtesy of Trudy Fisher)

Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

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