Sunday, May 22, 2022

Ole Miss Defeats Jackson State to Remain Undefeated

The Ole Miss women’s basketball team feasted off turnovers and Shakira Austin went off for her first double-double in a Rebel jersey in an 89-65 victory over Jackson State at The Pavilion on Tuesday night.

The Rebels (5-0) had to overcome a cooler night of shooting than they have been used to this season, as well as two 20-point outings from Jackson State (1-4). However, Ole Miss dominated on the boards for its most offensive rebounds since 2011 and compiled a hefty 30-of-42 clip from the free throw line to pace another wire-to-wire victory – the most made free throws for the Rebels in a game since 2006. The 15th-ranked Rebel defense backed that up, halting the Lady Tigers to 37 percent from the floor and forcing 29 turnovers, making 34 points off of them alone. The Rebels dominated the other specialty categories as well with a 27-11 edge on second chance points and a drastic 42-20 advantage in the paint.

Shakira Austin and reigning SEC freshman of the week, Madison Scott, both finished with Ole Miss’ first double-doubles of the season – the first game with multiple Rebels with double-doubles since 2018.

Austin was a force to reckon with, pouring in a season-high 22 points and 12 rebounds for her 16th career double-double and her first as a Rebel. A good chunk of her points came from a 12-of-16 mark at the free throw line, the most makes by a Rebel since Crystal Allen in 2019 and the most attempts since Tia Faleru in 2015.

Scott tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds for her first career double-double, with her 10 boards tying a career-high set vs. Kansas. Also finding double-digit scoring was Donnetta Johnson for her fifth straight game with 14 points, five rebounds and career highs in assists (six) and steals (four). Valerie Nesbitt added in 10 points for good measure, her first double figure game of the year.

The Rebels began with the same starting five as the previous five games, the longest streak since February of 2018. They made their presence felt early on, wasting little time attacking the paint with a few easy shots from Shakira Austin and Donnetta Johnson down near the basket, forcing a Lady Tiger timeout just a few minutes into the game. The Rebels began the game on a 7-0 run, but the Lady Tigers gradually clawed their way back into the game to only trail 18-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Both teams struggled shooting the ball, shooting under 32 percent from the floor. However, Ole Miss snuffed out many opportunities, forcing 10 turnovers and cashing in eight points out of them in that first frame.

Midway through the second quarter, Ole Miss opened up their biggest lead of the game at that time (19), with Johnson and Austin scoring 10 apiece, Taylor Smith seven and Madison Scott six heading into the break up 43-26.

Nearly four minutes into the third quarter, the Rebels forced three more turnovers and outscored JSU 10-4, forcing them to call a timeout down their largest deficit of the game (23). Valerie Nesbit began to find lanes to the basket for good measure. Ole Miss forced a three-minute field goal drought that allowed them to expand their growing lead, as high as 30 points. JSU would cut the Ole Miss lead down in the fourth quarter, but the Rebels had their best shooting percentage of the game in the fourth quarter to close out the game.

The Rebels will hit the road for the first time this season when they face George Mason on December 19. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. CT and can be seen on CBS Sports Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports