Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ole Miss Advances to the Regional Final of the WNIT

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Shakira Austin making a basket against Tulane in the 72-61 win. Photo courtesy of Petre Thomas / Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss women’s basketball advances to the Regional final of the WNIT after a 72-61 win over the Tulane Green Wave on Saturday night.

Ole Miss (13-11) was led by junior Shakira Austin with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Her teammate Donnetta Johnson added 15 points of her own.

The Rebels shot 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. Austin went 14-for-17 from the stripe.

“I’ve always had a good free-throw shot,” Austin said. “It’s been about keeping it consistent. This year has been one of my best free-throw percentage shootings of my career.”

Tulane led most of the game and kept the Rebels down in the first half.

“We were not playing controlled, settled basketball in the first half,” said acting head coach Shay Robinson who was filling in for head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin following her positive COVID-19 test earlier this week. “We just got back to our identity and intensity in the second half. I am so proud of the girls coming together as a team and pulled out a tough game.”

According to Robinson, Ole Miss was playing a little out of sync early in the contest.

“We were kinda playing on our heels and not controlling it,” Robinson said.

The Green Wave was led on the court by Jerkaila Jordan with 21 points along with Arsula Clark adding 18 points.

In the fourth quarter, the Rebels cut down on the number of turnovers with only seven in the final 10 minutes of action to play Ole Miss style of basketball.

“Do not settle attack the rim and D up,” Robinson said. “They came together as a collective unit and got committed to one another and how we play.”

The Rebels will now take on Colorado on Monday night in the Regional final with the winner advancing to the Women’s NIT Final Four. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on FloSports.