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Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Opens SEC Play with Trip to Alabama

Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Opens SEC Play with Trip to Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.(Release) Ole Miss women’s basketball begins the new year with a trip to Tuscaloosa on Thursday (Jan. 4) to open the 2024 SEC slate against the Crimson Tide. In search of back-to-back wins in the series, the Rebels tip from Coleman Coliseum at 6:00 p.m. CT, streaming on SEC Network +.

TEAM FACTS

Ole Miss Rebels (10-3, 0-0 SEC)
Head Coach: Yolett McPhee-McCuin • 6th Season at Ole Miss (89-78) • 11th Season in Career (183-141)

Alabama Crimson Tide (13-2, 0-0 SEC)
Head Coach: Kristy Curry  • 11th Season at Alabama (185-145) • 25th Season in Career (495-294)

SERIES NOTES

OLE MISS VS. ALABAMA
The Rebels lead the series all-time against the Crimson Tide, 37-28 dating back to 1977. Both teams split last season’s meetings, with Alabama picking up a win in Oxford and Ole Miss claiming victory in Tuscaloosa.

Ole Miss has won its last two meetings in Coleman Coliseum, yet the Crimson Tide still hold the advantage in Tuscaloosa, 15-13. A win Thursday would be the first time the Rebels have won three straight on Alabama’s home court since 1987-91.

SCOUTING THE CRIMSON TIDE
Heading into the SEC opener, Alabama has won its last six straight games after falling at Syracuse in the ACC/SEC Challenge at the end of November.

The Crimson Tide also boast one of the nation’s top defenses, ranking No. 11 in the country allowing 51.7 points per game.

Beyond the arc, Alabama’s Aliyah Nye proves to be a deep threat in ranking eighth in the country averaging 3.3 made triples per game.

TEAM NOTES

LAST TIME OUT
The Rebels rolled to their 10th win of the season in their non-conference finale on Saturday, in a 72-37 victory over Alcorn State from the SJB Pavilion.

Holding an opponent to its fewest points allowed this season, Ole Miss recorded its fourth consecutive win as the Rebels put on a defensive clinic. As a team, the Rebels snagged a season-best 17 steals against the Lady Braves with Kharyssa Richardson and Kennedy Todd-Williams grabbing four each.

IN SEC OPENERS
A win on Thursday over Alabama would give Ole Miss its 25th win in SEC openers and its third straight victory to begin conference play.

The Rebels have found recent success on the road to start the grind of the SEC, also winning its last two road openers to kick off the conference schedule.

10 NON-CON WINS SECURED
With the win over Alcorn State, Ole Miss reached 10 wins in non-conference play for the third consecutive season and the third time under McPhee-McCuin.

Ole Miss has now had five seasons with 10 or more wins in the non-conference slate in the last 10 seasons.

BE THE BANDIT
Game by game, the Rebels keep getting better on defense with Ole Miss snagging a season-best 17 steals against Alcorn State on Saturday.

Kharyssa Richardson set a new career-high with four, while Kennedy Todd-Williams snagged a season-best of four as well.

KEEPIN’ IT LOW
For the first time this season, Ole Miss held its opponent to under 40 points in scoring. This is the sixth time under McPhee-McCuin that her team has kept its opponent under the mark.

COME AT HER
At 6-4, Rita Igbokwe has remained one of the nation’s best defenders throughout her five years of collegiate play. After setting block records at Pitt, Igbokwe remains just as record breaking as a Rebel.

At UAPB, Igbokwe snagged a season-high 13 rebounds while also swatting a career-high eight rejections against the Golden Lions.

The eight blocks are the most by any SEC player this season, third most in a single-game this season in Division I women’s basketball, and rank second all-time in a game at Ole Miss.

SHUTTING DOWN SHOOTERS
By dictating and disrupting, Ole Miss has held all 10 of its opponents in wins to under 30% shooting from the field.

The Rebels remain one of the strongest defensive teams in the nation, holding its opponents to a clip of 34.4% to rank 21st nationally.

1-KTW
Draining a crisp three at South Alabama, Kennedy Todd-Williams became the latest to eclipse the 1,000 career-point club at Ole Miss. Todd-Williams is the 35th 1,000 point scorer at Ole Miss.

Todd-Williams joins teammate Madison Scott , who recently surpassed the mark earlier this season. The two are one of 278 active 1,000 career point scorers in Division I basketball.

DEFENSE TRAVELS
Once again, Ole Miss made sure to pack its defense for its trip to Mobile and held the Jaguars to a season-low 41 points and shortly followed up holding Alcorn State to 37 points.

This season Ole Miss has held 11 out of its 13 opponents to under its scoring average when they have faced off against the Rebels.

BOXING OUT
So far this season, Ole Miss has outrebounded two oppponents with a margin of 20 or more. In the McPhee-McCuin era, the Rebels have held a margin of 20+ against 12 opponents.

The six years prior to McPhee-McCuin arriving in Oxford, the Rebels only had a 20+ margin three times.

CALM AND CONSISTENT QUE
A quiet threat from the Rebels comes in the form of Marquesha Davis, with the senior scoring in double-digits in 10 out of 13 games this year.

The McGehee, Arkansas, native currently leads the Rebels in scoring at 11.4 points per game.

BLOCK TO THE TOP 
Swatting 14 shots against MVSU, Ole Miss set a new single-game program record against the Devilletes.

The 14 blocks also marked a new SJB Pavilion record, shattering the previous of nine.

Ole Miss’ massive performance with 14 rejections are the third most in Division I women’s basketball this season.

The Rebels have had four games in the McPhee-McCuin era with double-figure blocks.

Nationally, Ole Miss ranks eighth overall with an average of 6.2 rejections per game and third in the SEC.

SUPER-TEAM
The victory against Mississippi Valley State was truly a collective effort, with six Rebels ending their night in double-digit scoring.

The effort marked the first game since Dec. 2 of 2020 where six Rebels reached the mark.

Three Rebels currently average double-figures with Snudda Collins and Marquesha Davis each and Madison Scott each averaging 10.0 points per contest or more.

QUE FOR THREE
At Southern Miss, Marquesha Davis started off very hot from beyond the arc. Within the first three minutes alone, Davis drained three triples.

The three triples set a new career-high for Davis, as the senior’s range continues to expand.

SHE’S A FRESHMAN!
Against Louisville, freshman Zakiya Stephenson sure made her presence known with a career-high six assists and three steals against the Cardinals.

Stephenson is the first Rebel since 2019-20 to dish out five or more assists in multiple games.

POINTS ARE HARD TO STEAL FROM US
For the third consecutive game in a row, once again Ole Miss held its opponent to under 50 points in scoring against Little Rock. Out of 13 games this season, Ole Miss has kept seven of its opponents under the threshold.

This is the third time in program history the Rebels have held three straight opponents under 50 points and the second under McPhee-McCuin. The 2021-22 Rebels and the 1990-91 teams are the only others that have held its opponents to the mark.

BATTLE. WON.
In her home country of the Bahamas, head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin had herself quite the homecoming with Ole Miss defeating Howard, Arizona and Michigan to claim the 2023 Bad Boy Mowers Battle4Atlantis Championship.

In the championship game against Michigan, Ole Miss shut down the Wolverine offense and came together as a team to win, 60-49.

Off the bench, Marija Avlijas led the Rebels in scoring with a career-high 11 points. Madison Scott joined her in double-figures with 10 points. 10 Rebels made their way into the scoring column, with 12 hitting the court for Ole Miss.

The title is the second tournament win under McPhee-McCuin after winning the 2021 Raising the B.A.R. Invitational Powered by Cal in Berkeley.

WE LOVE NO. 1
Despite leaving the islands with a trophy, Ole Miss lost starting point guard KK Deans for the season.

After suffering a non-contact knee injury in the opening minutes against Michigan, Deans will undergo season ending surgery.

The graduate transfer had been averaging 9.3 points and led the Rebels with 3.8 assists per game. Deans reached double-figure scoring in three games, including a season-high 16 points against Temple.

According to ESPN, Deans was rated as one of ESPN’s Top-15 available transfers. Through 114 career appearances, the Greensboro, N.C., native had been averaging 11.6 points per game and accumulated 365 assists.

MVP! MVP! MVP!
Showing up and showing out in the Bahamas, Madison Scott was dominant throughout all three games at the Battle4Atlantis, averaging 13.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

Her stellar performance earned the senior the tournament’s most valuable player and all tournament team honors. In the opener against Howard, Scott dropped a career-high tying 21 points and was electric off the glass with a season-high 14 rebounds against the Bison.

The SEC recognized Scott’s efforts as well, with her earning SEC Co-Athlete of the Week Honors. The accolade was the first SEC Athlete of the Week honors for Ole Miss since Angel Baker earned the award in December of 2021 and the first of Scott’s career.

HERE COMES THE SERBIAN SENSATION
Coming off of the bench following KK Deans going down against Michigan, freshman Marija Avlijas came in and looked like a veteran.

The Belgrade, Serbia, native, dropped a career-best 11 points against the Wolverines off of 5-of-10 shooting.

Avlijas is no stranger to the big stage after spending time on the pro-circuit in Europe and with the Serbian National Team.

DICTATE AND DISRUPT
It should be well known by now the goals of the Ole Miss defense to dictate and disrupt and the Rebels sure made Arizona and Michigan uncomfortable, holding the two programs to under 50 points at 47 and 49.

In yet another defensive clinic in the Battle4Atlantis Championship game against Michigan, Ole Miss held yet another Power Five team under 50 points in the second straight game for the first time in program history.

MILESTONE WATCH

SNUDDA COLLINS

• 157 career made three’s – needs eight more to crack top-five in Ole Miss history.

MADISON SCOTT

• 1050 career-points became the 29th player to score 1,000 points at Ole Miss.

• 24 career double-doubles – currently sits at No. 9 at Ole Miss.

KENNEDY TODD-WILLIAMS

• 1026 career-points – 35th 1,000 career-point scorer at Ole Miss.

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE QUE
Ever since cracking the starting lineup mid-way through last season, Marquesha Davis has blossomed as one of Ole Miss’ rising stars.

Her calm demeanor has proven to be a key factor for the Rebels, averaging 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in her Ole Miss career.

Against Arizona, Davis put on a season-best performance with 17 points. In 13 games this year, Davis is averaging 11.4 points per contest.

Her play in the Bahamas earned her Battle4Atlantis All-Tournament Team honors after averaging 12.7 points throughout the tournament.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE, MADI’S CAUSING TROUBLE
Notching her 24th career double-double against Arizona with 10 points and 11 rebounds, Madison Scott now sits ninth at Ole Miss in the category.

Her performance against the Wildcats was her second consecutive double-double after recording 21 points and 14 rebounds against Howard. This is the first time since December of 2022 that Scott recorded a double-double in back-to-back games.

WE DEFEND LIKE NO OTHER
An intense defensive battle against Arizona once again proved how dangerous the Ole Miss defense is, only allowing 47 points against a potent Wildcat offense.

Ole Miss followed up this performance, holding Michigan to 49 points.

The Rebels have now held its last two Pac-12 opponents to under 50-points in scoring, keeping Stanford to 49 last year in the NCAA Tournament.

Since the start of the 2021-22 season, Ole Miss has now held eight Power Five opponents under 50 points.

SHOTS UP AND ON POINT
While the Rebels were smoothly spreading the ball around against Temple, Ole Miss was draining its shots at a high percentage. 51.8% on the game to be exact.

A big first quarter in which the Rebs shot 10-15 from the field for a clip of 66.7%, aided the team to record its highest field goal percentage against a non-conference opponent since Ole Miss shot 53.7% at Cincinnati in December of 2021.

HOME SWEET HOME
Rebel nation has turned the SJB Pavilion into an intimidating environment for visiting teams, especially in the non-conference slate.

Ole Miss has won 24 of its last 27 games at home against non-conference visitors, dating back to the 2020 season.

DYNAMIC DUO
Now in year four together, Snudda Collins and Madison Scott feed off one another with the pair contributing to each other’s success on the court.

When both Collins and Scott finish in double-figure scoring, the Rebels are bound to win at a record of 16-1.

DIME DROPPIN’ AND NOT STOPPIN’
Sharing is truly caring and against Queens, Ole Miss dished out 24 assists on 34 made field goals. Within the first quarter alone, the Rebels issued an assist on each of their six made shots.

KK Deans led the Rebels with six helpers, followed by Zakiya Stephenson with five. Eight Rebels contributed to the assist account, with Ole Miss issuing the most assists in the first game of a season under McPhee-McCuin.

GOING DEEP
Running 11 players deep against Queens, proved that the Rebel bench will be a key factor throughout the year.

Boosted by Collins with 17 points, the Ole Miss bench accounted for 46 points against the Royals. Four Rebels added five or more points as well.

PAINT PARTY ANYONE?
The Rebels sure made themselves comfortable on the interior against Queens, racking up 50 points in the paint. Ole Miss followed up this performance as well against MVSU, dropping 50 points from the inside.

Anchored by the presence of Rita IgbokweKharyssa Richardson and Madison Scott, the Rebels look to continue its damage in the paint as the season progresses.

STEADY GOING SLIM
After choosing to return to the Rebels this off-season and utilize her sixth season of eligibility, Tyia Singleton is now one of the most tenured players in Division I women’s basketball.

Singleton has appeared in 133 games in her collegiate career, making 78 starts. She sits tied for 27th nationally in active games played.

ON TO THE NEXT
Following an electrifying NCAA Tournament run to the Sweet 16 which captivated the country with its upset of No. 1 seeded Stanford on its home court, head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and Co. are looking to what’s next in the 2023-24 season.

The Rebels are primed and poised to compete to earn its third consecutive appearance to the NCAA Tournament and its 20th in program history.

GUESS WHO’S BACK?
In spite of the losses of leaders in Angel Baker and Myah Taylor, the Rebels bring back a strong core of starters in Marquesha DavisMadison Scott and Tyia Singleton as well as extra depth coming off the bench with Snudda CollinsElauna EatonRita Igbokwe and Ayanna Thompson.

WHAT’S BACK FOR 2023-24?

• Points: 1,521 of 2,334 (65.1%)

• Rebounds: 1,091 of 1,421 (76.8%)

• Assists: 169 of 419 (40.3%)

• Blocks: 155 of 174 (89.0%)

• 3-Pointers: 101 of 164 (61.5%) – Snudda Collins accounted for 55 of 164 (33.5%)

NO. 4 BUT WANTING MORE
In both the SEC Coaches and the Media Polls, Ole Miss was chosen to finish No. 4 in the conference for the third consecutive year in a row.

Yet another finish in the top-five of the SEC, would give the rebels its third straight finish as one of the best in the SEC for the first time since 1985-1988.

MY OH MADI
The development of Madison Scott since her arrival on campus has been undeniable, with the McDonald’s All-American out of Bishop McNamara proving her progress each season.

Year three proved to be the best yet, with the rising senior earning Second Team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive accolades as a junior. Totaling a team leading 11 double-doubles in 2022-23, Scott was also the Rebels’ most efficient shooter with a team leading .510 field goal percentage.

Scott enters year four in Oxford touted as one of the best in the conference, earning First Team All-SEC acclaim by the league’s coaches and a spot on the Cheryl Miller Award Preseason Watch List as one of the nation’s top forwards.

THE YO EFFECT
Now entering year six into Yolett McPhee-McCuin‘s guidance at the helm of the Rebels, she is already responsible for two of the program’s best starts in the last 30 seasons.

Through the first 18 games:

• 1991-92: 17-1

• 1994-95: 15-3

• 2021-22: 16-2

• 2022-23: 16-2

OFF THE LINE
Three-point defense has been a point of emphasis during the Coach Yo era, with 108 of 154 opponents being held to five or fewer.

1st Season (2018-19)

17-of-32 (53.1%)

2nd Season (2019-20)

21-of-30 (70.0%)

3rd Season (2020-21)

14-of-22 (63.6 %)

4th Season (2021-22)

22-of-31 (70.9%)

5th Season (2022-23)

29-34 (85.2%)

6th Season (2023-24)

10-13 (76.9%)

RITA IGBLOCKWE
A defensive force around the rim against South Carolina in Oxford, Rita Igbokwe’s six rejections set a season-high for the senior.

Igbokwe hit 200 in her career in the SEC Quarterfinals. She currently ranks seventh in active blocks nationally with a total of 231.

25 WINS SECURED
With the win over Stanford in the NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss notched its 25th win last season and set another historical milestone. The mark is the most wins in a single-season since the 1986-87 team reached 25 en route to a Sweet 16 berth under Van Chancellor.

Ole Miss now has a total of six 25-win seasons.

Van Chancellor’s 1978-79 team holds the program record for most wins in a lone season at 31.

THE BLOCK PARTY NEVER STOPS
The Rebels have proved that defense gets it done in the Coach Yo era and continued to defend around the rim this season as well. The 2021-22 team shattered the program record in single-season blocks at 142 and last year’s squad rose to the challenge breaking that.

Through 34 games, Ole Miss rejected 174 shots last season to set the single-season program record.

20 WINS AND COUNTING
By hitting the 20-win mark against Kentucky, Ole Miss hit another major milestone as a program with back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1993-94 & 1994-95.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The comfort of the SJB Pavilion has been welcoming to the Rebels this season, with Ole Miss reaching double-digit wins at home two consecutive years in a row for the first time since the 2007-08 & 2008-09 seasons.

In 2021-22 Ole Miss tallied 10 wins at home while the 2022-23 Rebels reached a total of 14.

WHAT’S NEXT?
The Rebels return to the comfort of home and the SJB Pavilion for a match-up against the defending National Champions in the No. 7 ranked LSU Tigers. The nationally televised game on ESPN will tip at 2:00 p.m. CT.

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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