The Ole Miss Lady Rebels squared off against the West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first round of March Madness, and Ole Miss emulated SEC dominance for a full four quarters. The Lady Rebels put together what could be considered their most dominant performance en route to a 71-48 win against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Gonzaga, who was ranked at various points during the regular season, came into this game as the best three-point shooting team at 42%. The focal point of the Bulldog offense was production from behind the arc, and Ole Miss completely took that aspect of the game away.
Neither team hit a three-pointer for the first couple minutes of the first quarter, but Ole Miss eventually ended that streak. Unfortunately for Gonzaga, it did not bury its first three-pointer until the third quarter. The Zags finished the game shooting 6% from distance, which is a huge part of why this game ended in Ole Miss’ favor.
The Lady Bulldogs scored more than 12 points in a quarter only once during the fourth quarter. Additionally, Gonzaga also only held one lead during this game when the score was 2-0.
The Rebels suffocated the Gonzaga offense and frustrated the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Kaylynne Truong, who hit the Bulldog’s lone three-pointer.
Not only did the Lady Rebels put together a defensive clinic, but they also showed why they are a force to be reckoned with on offense. Ole Miss’ outstanding offensive performance was headed by junior Snudda Collins, who had 15 points off the bench. Behind Collins were Madison Scott and Angel Baker, each with 11 points.
Another facet of the game Ole Miss controlled was the rebounds. The Lady Rebels vacuumed in 56 rebounds to the Bulldogs’ 36; this stat included Ole Miss’ 29 offensive rebounds to Gonzaga’s 18.
A very well-rounded win such as this is an encouraging sign as the Rebel move on to round number two for the first time under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin and only the 11th time in program history. Ole Miss moves on to face Stanford and legendary head coach Tara Vanderveer; The Stanford Lady Cardinals beat Sacred Heart University 92-49 to secure its spot in the second round.
Stanford was ranked as high as No. 2 in the AP poll, with ranked wins against Creighton, Arizona and Colorado. As for similar opponents, Ole Miss and Stanford both lost to South Carolina in overtime, and both programs suffered last-second losses to Utah.
Ole Miss will look to carry this momentum from its first-round victory into Sunday’s matchup against the Cardinal and star Haley Jones. The Lady Rebels have a tall task in front of them as they face off against one of women’s college basketball’s best teams, and if they want to pull off the upset, they have to replicate a lot of what they did against Gonzaga.