By Adam Brown
The No. 11 seeded Ole Miss Rebels women’s basketball team will head to Greenville, South Carolina for the SEC Tournament on Thursday as they take on No. 6 seeded No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks. Tipoff is set for 25 minutes following the conclusion of the Missouri-Alabama matchup.
Ole Miss (10-10, 4-10 SEC) is coming off of a 75-70 win over No. 19 Kentucky to close out the regular season on Sunday. The Rebels swept the Wildcats on the season.
Shakira Austin led the Rebels in scoring with 22 points with 12 rebounds for her ninth double-double, all coming in the first half.
Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and her staff are in their third season with the Rebels.
“I am so proud of my whole staff players staying resilient through a challenging year for everybody,” McPhee-McCuin said. “The proof is in the pudding, from what we have done in the classroom to what we’ve done in the community. Being recognized by the SEC in what we have done in recruiting and on the court, it makes my heart warm just to know that you can’t lead if you don’t have a vision. Just seeing it all come into play, I’m just really excited about it, and (it’s a) great boost for us as we go into SEC Conference Tournament play.”
Ole Miss will open the tournament against two ranked opponents in their bracket. With wins, it will be possible for the team to make the NCAA Tournament.
“We have an incredible opportunity with playing a ranked team in Arkansas that is already in the tournament,” McPhee-McCuin said. “If we handle them, then we have another ranked team in Tennessee that is in the tournament. I think it makes our chances really good because of our conference.”
No. 13 Arkansas rolls into the tournament with a 19-7 overall record and 9-6 mark in league play. The Razorbacks are coming off of a 94-76 win over Alabama. Arkansas was led by Amber Ramirez with 35 points.
“Arkansas is a very good team. They are experienced. They have seven seniors,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I think they made history the other day making 19 threes in the game. (Arkansas) has tons of weapons.”
Last month, Ole Miss traveled to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks in the midst of hazardous winter weather and fell 84-74.
This will be the 48th all-time meeting between the Rebels and the Razorbacks. Arkansas currently has a five-game winning streak going, while Ole Miss has a 25-22 advantage in the series.