Ad Spot

Ole Miss falls to Rice in WNIT Championship

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — In their final game of the season, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team came up short in holding up a trophy.

The Rebels fell to Rice, 71-58, in the WNIT Championship at Collierville High School on Sunday. Despite being unable to win a postseason title, it was the deepest postseason run in program history.

Trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half, Ole Miss (15-12) got to within four points with 4:22 remaining after utilizing their staple dictate and disrupt defense. Rice head coach Tina Langley immediately took a timeout to slow the game down and it worked as the Owls closed the game on a 13-4 run to secure the WNIT postseason title.

Previous postseason experience for Rice, which played in the 2019 NCAA Women’s Tournament, paid off while a bulk of the Rebels were experiencing postseason championship minutes for the first time.

“Of course we wanted to win,” said Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin “(Rice) understood the moment. You could tell from the beginning of the game. They understood it and my players didn’t. The only player that’s played postseason for me is Shakira Austin. I’ve don’t have any other players that played in postseason. I don’t know how to explain it other than that’s what happened the whole game. So even when we made a run back, I felt like they were in control the whole 40 minutes.”

Offensively, the entire game was a struggle for the Rebels who shot 30 percent from the floor (21-of-70). The second half was better for Ole Miss, who shot 37 percent after shooting 21 percent the first two quarters.

The Rebels failed to make a three-pointer, going 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Shakira Austin finished with a game-high 25 points after a slow start to go with a team-high nine rebounds, tying Donnetta Johnson’s nine boards. Austin was the only Rebel to score in double-figures with Johnson held to eight points and Madison Scott finished with seven points.

Anchored by 6-foot-9 center Nancy Mulkey, Rice (23-4) managed to dictate the pace of the game. Even with Austin, the Rebels had no answer for Mulkey’s presence under the basket as she tied forward Lauren Schwartz with a team-high 19 points. Mulkey, who was named Most Valuable Player of the WNIT, nearly secured a triple-double with 12 rebounds and seven blocks.

“Mulkey did some really good stuff,” McCuin said. “I underestimated her experience. I forgot she was (with Rice) when they made the tournament. She’s no slouch and she did some really good things.”

Rice finished game a perfect 17-of-17 at the free throw line while the Rebels finished 16-of-22 from the charity stripe.

“I’m in it for the long haul. This is just a step in the right direction,” McCuin said.

Events

Planning Commission approves Isom Place to become event venue

Elections

Oxford’s Election Commission certifies Ward II candidate Afton Thomas, all candidates for municipal elections

Crime

Oxford Police: 10 overdose deaths have occurred in last six months

Crime

Oxford man arrested for Commercial Burglary

Crime

Jackson man arrested for attempting to sell stolen ATV

News

Oxford’s State Veterans Home hosts Operation Family Reunion event

Business

Best of Oxford 2021 Voting now open

Events

St. John’s Drawdown returns to benefit Lena Wiley

Crime

Man arrested for stealing car while owner was inside store

Crime

Oxford man arrested after soliciting minor in CPS custody

Crime

Two arrested for prostitution of minor after shooting at Oxford Super 8

Crime

Local teachers accused of sex crimes have trial dates continued, again

Education

Former Ole Miss and NFL great Patrick Willis to give 2020 UM Commencement Address

Crime

Water Valley man charged with Grand Larceny

Crime

Como man arrested for Grand Larceny

News

Oxford Named Second-Strongest Town in America

News

Oxford Board of Aldermen vote to end free curbside parking around downtown Square

Crime

Child predator investigation leads to arrest of Olive Branch man

Crime

Rap group connected to 2020 Panola murders detained in Batesville

News

Ole Miss student charged in fraternity hazing that injured pledge

Lafayette County

Lafayette County residents to be required to dial 10-digit phone numbers later this year

Elections

Alderman Rick Addy wins Ward I Democratic primary, will run unopposed in general election

Crime

Oxford woman arrested after newborn tests positive for amphetamines

Elections

Taylor, Hyneman win Democratic primaries in Aldermen races