By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team opens up the 2021-22 campaign as they play host to Belmont on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss (0-0, 0-0 SEC) returns to the court for the first time since their loss to Rice 71-58 in the WNIT Final. The Rebels have all five starters returning and 10 letter winners from last year’s squad.
Shakira Austin looks to continue the momentum from last season after earning Honorable All-American honors into her senior season. The center continues to garner national acclaim, earning Preseason All-SEC honors.
Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and her staff enters their fourth year and welcome in four newcomers in three transfers and a freshman to the Rebels.
Belmont (1-0, 0-0 OVC) coming off of an 88-70 victory in Chatanooga Tuesday night. The Bruins return a talented roster after reaching the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament last season as a 12 seed, upsetting No. 5 seed Gonzaga 64-59 in the first round.
The Bruins were chosen to finish first in the Ohio Valley Conference, as Belmont has claimed four out of the last five league titles. Sophomore guard Destinee Wells was tabbed as the Preseason OVC player of the year and joined teammates senior forward Conley Chinn and sophomore guard Tuti Jones on the Preseason All-OVC Team.
Against the Mocs, four Bruins finished in double-digits being led by Madison Bartley finishing with 21 points after going 9-14 from the field.
This will be the fifth meeting all-time between the two programs with Ole Miss winning the past four contests.