Ole Miss women’s basketball played lights-out defense and used a balanced attack to defeat George Mason, 64-34, on Saturday for its first road win of the season and best start since the 2008-09 season.
Shakira Austin went off for the Rebels (6-0), scoring a season-high 24 points, 22 of those points coming in the second half alone alongside her first career three-pointer in the fourth quarter. Jacorriah Bracey added eight points, Madison Scott had seven points and a team-high nine boards while Taylor Smith and Donnetta Johnson each had six for the Rebels.
As a team, the Rebels shot 46 percent from the floor while forcing 20 turnovers and churning 20 points off of them. Ole Miss had a significant advantage on the boards, 38-8, and forced George Mason to shoot 21 percent. As a team, the Rebels allowed the fewest points in a game since 2016 and the fifth-fewest in program history.
The Rebels were in control from the opening tip following early buckets in the paint from Austin and Smith. Both teams were slow to start on offense, but despite this, the Rebels began the game on a 7-0 run following a Snudda Collins made a three-pointer, forcing George Mason to call their first timeout with 5:38 left in the first quarter.
The Patriots didn’t make the scoreboard until 2:42 left in the first quarter. Following a Donnetta Johnson layup and Marika Korpinen made three-pointer for George Mason, the Rebels had a slim 9-5 lead after 10 minutes of play. Ole Miss allowed their fewest first quarter point total since February 2019 against Alabama. The Rebels forced George Mason to shoot 15 percent from the floor (2-13) while shooting just 25 percent (4-16) themselves. Five of their nine points came from the bench.
Madison Scott began the second quarter with two straight buckets to open up an eight-point lead. Coming out of the media timeout midway through the second quarter, they would extend their lead to 12 following a three-pointer from Tiya Douglas and go on another big 11-0 run late in the first half. They forced a five-minute scoring drought that was finally snapped with a minute and change left in the half. After a 13-3 run to end the first half, the Rebels led 26-11. They allowed the fewest first half points since 2014 and fewest in either half since 2016.
Eight different Rebels put points on the board after the first half, while shooting a combined 38 percent from the floor and forcing George Mason to 15 percent (4-26). Donnetta Johnson, Valerie Nesbit, Taylor Smith and Madison Scott each had four points to lead the way for the Rebels. Ole Miss had another outstanding advantage in the paint, outscoring the Patriots 16-2 and having 12 points come from the bench. The Rebels also outrebounded George Mason 25-18, their most first-half rebounds of the season thus far and most overall since November 2019.
Ole Miss outscored George Mason 8-1 going into the third quarter media timeout (4:18) and had a 34-12 lead. The Rebels continued a 12-0 run while holding the Patriots scoreless for nearly six minutes late in the third quarter. Ole Miss closed out the frame on a 19-2 run and outscored the Patriots 21-3 en route to a 47-14 lead after three complete. Those three points given up tied the fewest points allowed in a quarter in the Coach Yo era at Ole Miss. The Rebels went on cruise control the rest of the way, riding Austin’s offensive prowess to a 64-34 victory.
The Rebels return to The Pavilion next Monday (Dec. 21) to host Jacksonville State. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network+.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports