Ad Spot

Ole Miss women roll through McNeese State in season opener

It was one game, but Yolett McPhee-McCuin got a glimpse of what the rebuild could look like.

In their season opener, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team McNeese State 99-44 on Monday inside The Pavilion. Monday’s game served as the official opener after the Rebels’ Nov. 25 game with Northwestern State was canceled due to COVID-19 issues.

With a top recruiting class and securing some top transfers, the expectations were high for McCuin, who is in her third year at the helm of the Rebels’ program. Coming off a 2019-20 season where Ole Miss went 0-16 in Southeastern Conference play, this season is an official start of turning around a program that has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2008.

“Incredibly grateful to be out here playing,” McCuin said. “I thought everybody played well. We’re fairly new. The only players who have experience in playing in a game are our returners. Everybody else are just brand spanking new.”

Monday’s performance was a jumping-off point that saw production up and down the roster. Ten different players scored for the Rebels (1-0) with a pair of freshmen leading the way. Madison Scott and Snudda Collins led all scorers with 23 and 15 points, respectively.

Collins shot 62.5 percent from three-point range, hitting 5-of-8 shots beyond the arc.

“As a freshman coming in, of course I was going to be nervous and have a lot of anxiety,” Collins said. “When I first got out there I was making minor mistakes. Then as I calmed down and just got into my natural flow and remembered that I’m a shooter and I can make it if I take my time, then things started going well for me.”

Monday was also the official debut for Maryland transfer Shakira Austin. Austin was granted immediate eligibility last month, giving the Rebels a boost in size and length on the court.

That size was immediately felt with Austin racking up two blocks in the first five minutes of the game. She finished with 12 points, four blocks and six rebounds. Georgia transfer Donnetta Johnson had a quick start to her first game as a Rebel, scoring six points in the opening quarter before finishing with 10 for the game.

“Teams like (McNeese), they’re so small so they just crowd her space,”McCuin said. “They bothered her a little bit, so she started to go inside. Shakira is a type of player that will rise to every level of occasion. As the competition gets better, she’ll get better.”

Ole Miss returns to action on Thursday when they host Kansas (2-0) in the SEC/Big-12 Challenge at 7:30 p.m. CT. The game will air on SEC Network.

Elections

Two Oxford Aldermen not seeking re-election

Events

2021 Double Decker Arts Festival status in limbo

Crime

Two arrested by Oxford Police in connection to College Hill Road burglaries

Lafayette County

Lynching memorial approved for Lafayette County Courthouse lawn

Crime

Kosciusko man arrested for allegedly assaulting Uber driver

Crime

Sheriff’s Department looking for suspects in attempted burglary of Abbeville Mini Mart

News

Property Transfers January 4 – January 8, 2021

Crime

Opioid overdoses on the rise, says Lafayette County Metro Narcotics

Events

Oxford’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebrations go socially distant in 2021

Lafayette County

Highway 7 and 9 roundabout project to resume this Spring

Crime

Armed and dangerous Lafayette County man wanted in Panola County

News

Residents of Oxford’s State Veterans Home receive COVID-19 vaccinations

Crime

Surveillance camera program launched by Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department

Lafayette County

Mississippi has “no additional vaccines” for COVID-19

News

Aldermen approve COVID-19 vaccine policy for city employees

Education

Planning Commission approves site plan for Oxford School District’s new CTE building

Lafayette County

COVID-19 vaccinations administered at Oxford Conference Center

Education

Delayed Start for Lafayette County Schools on Tuesday

Featured Photo

SNOW DAY 2021: Oxford, Ole Miss turn into winter wonderland

Elections

OXFORD FIRST: 18-year-old entering Oxford Mayoral race

Business

McAlister’s Deli opening new Oxford location on Monday

News

Property Transfers Dec. 28, 2020-Jan. 1, 2021

Crime

Domestic violence up in 2020, says Oxford Police Department’s annual report

Elections

Local, State officials respond to siege of US Capitol building