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NCAA Tournament Round 1 Preview: Game notes for Ole Miss vs. Marquette

NCAA Tournament Round 1 Preview: Game notes for Ole Miss vs. Marquette

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, No. 7 Ole Miss women’s basketball begins its 2024 run against No. 10 Marquette from Purcell Pavilion on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. CT.

The Rebels search to win their opening game of the tournament for the second year in a row and for the 13th time in program history, taking on the Golden Eagles on ESPNU.

TEAM FACTS

No. 7 Ole Miss Rebels (23-8, 12-4 SEC)
Head Coach: Yolett McPhee-McCuin • 6th Season at Ole Miss (102-83) • 11th Season in Career (196-146)

No. 10 Marquette Golden Eagles (23-8, 11-7 BIG EAST)
Head Coach: Megan Duffy • 5th Season at Marquette (110-45) • 7th Season in Career (154-65)

ON THE AIR
TV: ESPNU
Play-by-Play: Sam Gore
Analyst: Tamika Catchings

NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES

REBELS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

Appearing in its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, Ole Miss reaches the big dance for the third straight season for the first time since 1993 through 1996.

The Rebels have made it past the first weekend of the tournament in over half of their appearances, making 11 Sweet Sixteens before moving on to five Elite Eights.

The trek to South Bend is Ole Miss’ second NCAA Tournament visit to Notre Dame, playing against Tennessee in the 1983 Sweet 16.

AS A NO. 7 SEED

The Rebels are seeded at No. 7 for the fourth time in school history and the second time in the past three seasons. As a seven, Ole Miss is 3-3 overall and had one of its most remarkable runs at the seed in reaching the 2007 Elite 8.

SERIES NOTES

OLE MISS VS. MARQUETTE

Ole Miss takes on Marquette for the second time, meeting once previously in 2004 in San Diego with an 80-66 victory in the San Diego Surf-N-Slam Tournament.

REBELS AGAINST THE BIG EAST

Against schools from the BIG EAST, Ole Miss is even at 4-4. The Rebels last met a foe from the conference in St. Johns at the 2018 Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. Ole Miss last defeated a BIG EAST team against St. John’s in 1992 at the Rev. Joseph Cahill, C.M. Invitational.

Saturday is Ole Miss’ second game against a Big East opponent in the dance, meeting Villanova in the First Round in 2004 in Ames.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES

Finishing third in the BIG EAST at 11-7 and 23-8 overall, Marquette makes its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance. Led by All-BIG East First Team guard Liza Karlen, the Golden Eagles shoot the three at an efficient rate ranking No. 15 nationally draining 36.7% of its triples.

TEAM NOTES

LAST TIME OUT

Appearing in its third consecutive SEC Tournament Semifinal game, Ole Miss traded blows with No. 2 seeded LSU, but fell short against the defending national champions, 75-67 from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.

The trio of Marquesha DavisMadison Scott and Kennedy Todd-Williams each finished their night in double figures, with Scott leading with a game-high 22 points. Davis followed with her eighth 20-point outing of the season with 21 points.

THIRTY-QUE
Dropping a career-high 33 points against Florida in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals, Marquesha Davis became No. 2 at Ole Miss in an SEC Tournament game in scoring.

Davis is the first Rebel since Deja Cage in 2019 to score 30 points in a game for Ole Miss.

AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS

When it comes to facing off against ranked opponents, Ole Miss owns 90 wins against ranked teams. The Rebels picked up three of those victories last season, including two in the NCAA Tournament. Under McPhee-McCuin, the Rebels have knocked off 10 ranked opponents.

This season, Ole Miss is 0-4 against ranked opponents, falling against No. 22 Louisville in the ACC/SEC Challenge at, No. 1 South Carolina and twice against a Top-10 LSU team.

Ole Miss has toppled 30 teams ranked  the top-10, with 13 of those victories occurring while the Rebels are unranked.

HISTORY RE-WRITTEN

A win in the regular season finale over Arkansas hit yet another historic marker for the Rebels, reaching a program best 12 wins in SEC play.

The Rebels passed the previous record of 11 set in 1991-92 and 2022-23.

GOING SEC STREAKING

Wrapping up the regular season on a six game winning streak, the Rebels tied the third-best mark in consecutive conference victories.

The 1991-92 Rebels own the longest streak, winning 11 games in-a-row to finish 11-0 in SEC play.

FINISHING TOWARD THE TOP

By locking up a third-place finish in the SEC, it is  now the Rebels best finish in conference action since Ole Miss finished 1st in 1991-92.

12 wins for Ole Miss in conference play also set a new program best.

The past three seasons, Ole Miss has finished higher than its projection in the both the SEC Preseason Media and Coaches polls.

THE ROAD TO 100

Reaching 100 wins at the helm of the Rebels, head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin hit another milestone this season in the victory over Kentucky.

McPhee-McCuin became the second coach in Ole Miss women’s basketball history to reach the milestone, joining the legendary Van Chancellor who tallied 439 wins during his historic tenure in Oxford.

HARD WORK PAYING OFF

For the first time in both of their careers, Marquesha Davis and Madison Scott earned First Team All-SEC accolades to become the 16th and 17th Rebels to earn a spot on the first team and became the lone duo to do so since 1989.

Not only did Scott earn the First Team nod, she was also named to the All-Defensive team for the second season in a row.

DEFENSE GETS DUBS

Locking down Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri and holding each to under 50 points, Ole Miss held even more opponents to under 50 points for the fourth time this season.

Ole Miss has now held 32 SEC opponents to under 50 points in a game throughout program history, with 10 of those games coming under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin.

NO THREE’S HERE

The motto of ‘dictate and disrupt’ from the Rebels causes havoc on other opponents offenses, and Ole Miss once again proved its power over Missouri, holding the Tigers scoreless from beyond the arc.

Since the 2011-12 season, Ole Miss is the only team to hold Missouri scoreless from three. Not only did the Rebels accomplish the feat this season, but did the exact same thing against the Tigers in 2022, holding Missouri 0-for-7 from deep.

THREE TIMES AS NICE

Reaching 20 wins with its victory over Missouri, Ole Miss has hit the mark for the third straight season and for the 21st time in program history.

Not only did the Rebels reach 20 wins, they also hit 10 wins in SEC play for the third year in a row for the first time in program history.

REJECTIONS JUST MEAN MORE 

Already touted as one of the best defensive teams in the SEC, Ole Miss has had a remarkable stretch around the rim the past few seasons as well as this year with a total of 188 blocks and counting.

The 188 rejections to break the single-season program record, make Ole Miss one of four programs in the SEC to have 150 blocks or more the past two seasons.

GOING MADi

When a shot from Madison Scott goes up in the air, there is a high probability that it’s going in. The senior currently leads for the Rebels in field goal percentage with 150 or more attempts at 48.9%.

If the trend continues for Scott, she could become the second Rebel in Ole Miss women’s basketball history to lead the team in field goal percentage for four seasons in a row.

HELP A FRIEND OUT
We all know that sharing is caring, and against Kentucky the Rebels dished out an SEC high 21 assists, with Madison Scott with a game-high six dimes.

The Rebels have dished out 10 or more assists in 11 SEC games to date this season.

STAYING ON BRAND
Holding Georgia to a mere three points in the second quarter in Oxford and 15 points in the half, the Rebels stuck to their roots as a defensive brand of basketball.

The 15 points in half tied the fewest allowed against an SEC team since 2015-16.

CARDIAC REBS
Forcing overtime for the second game in-a-row against Mississippi State, Ole Miss found itself playing in extra time in back-to-back games for the first time in program history.

Not only did the Rebels force extra time, but the two wins are Ole Miss first back-to-back overtime wins in school history.

Ole Miss is now 25-26 in overtime games and 15-7 against opponents when at home.

WHEN IN DOUBT, MADI’S GOT IT COVERED

Down by eight with five minutes to play against Mississippi State, Madison Scott scored nine points in the fourth quarter and hit a last second layup for Ole Miss to send the game to overtime against the Bulldogs.

Scott’s efforts against Mississippi State and Florida earned her SEC Co-Player of the Week honors for the second time this season and the second time in her career after averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on the week.

With the honor, Scott is the first Rebel to earn multiple SEC Player of the Week honors since Armintie Price during the 2006-07 campaign.

THREE-HEADED MONSTER
The trio of Marquesha DavisMadison Scott and Kennedy Todd-Williams, popped off against Florida and Mississippi State with the three combining for 60.0 points per game against the Gators and Bulldogs.

Through Ole Miss’ seven game winning streak, the three are averaged 49.1 points per game for the Rebels, with Davis leading the way at 17.4 points per game.

DIRTY GLASS? WE’LL CLEAN IT
The Rebels could not be stopped off the boards against Arkansas, out-rebounding the Razorbacks, 58 to 28 for a total margin of +30.

The margin is the fifth time Ole Miss has out-rebounded an SEC opponent by 20 or more rebounds since 2000 and the highest mark in the 21st century.

WE LOVE FREE BASKETBALL
Forcing overtime on the road at Florida and going on a tear in the final five minutes to win by 10, Ole Miss picked up its largest overtime victory since taking down Central Michigan in Oxford in 2007. It was also Ole Miss’ largest road overtime win since defeating Arkansas in Fayetteville in 2007.

KEEP THE GLASS CLEAN
Ranking in the top half of the SEC in rebounds per game at No. 5 with an average of 41.7 per game, Ole Miss is 23-1 this season when out-rebounding its opponents.

This year, Ole Miss has collected four games with 50 plus rebounds and 19 with 40 or more. The Rebels snagged a season-high 58 rebounds against Arkansas.

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 swatted a career-high eight rejections against the Golden Lions.

The eight blocks are the second 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.

Igbokwe ranks fifth in the SEC averaging 1.7 rejections per game.

SHUTTING DOWN SHOOTERS
By dictating and disrupting, Ole Miss has held 19 of its opponents to under 40% shooting from the field.

The Rebels have also held six of its opponents ot its lowest single-game point total of the season.

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 is the sixth time under McPhee-McCuin that her team has kept its opponent under the 40-point threshold.

This season Ole Miss has held 27 out of its 31 opponents to under its scoring average when they have faced off against the Rebels.

BOXING OUT
So far this season, Ole Miss has outrebounded four opponents with a margin of 20 or more. In the McPhee-McCuin era, the Rebels have held a margin of 20+ against 14 opponents.

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

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 women’s basketball this year.

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

Nationally, Ole Miss ranks third overall with an average of 6.1 rejections per game and second in the SEC.

MILESTONE WATCH

MARQUESHA DAVIS

• 1014 career points – 36th Rebel to at Ole Miss to score 1,000 points

RITA IGBOKWE

• 260 career blocks.

• 103 blocks at Ole Miss – 13 from top-five in program history

• 54 blocks this season – six from top-four in a single-season at Ole Miss.

MADISON SCOTT

• 1302 career-points became the 29th player to score 1,000 points at Ole Miss, ranks No. 19 in 1,000 points or more scored at Ole Miss.

• 75 career games in double-digit scoring –  No. 8 at Ole Miss.

• 27 career double-doubles – currently sits tied for No. 7 at Ole Miss.

• 334 career free-throws made – 10 away from top-five at Ole Miss.

• 103 assists this season – first 100 assist season in career.

• 103 career blocks – 11 away from top-five at Ole Miss.

KENNEDY TODD-WILLIAMS

• 1246 career-points – 35th 1,000 career-point scorer at Ole Miss.

• 73 assists this season – personal single-season career best.

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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