Despite a rare loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide during last week’s contest, the Ole Miss women’s basketball team continues to make history.
Hitting a program-high in attendance (8,958 fans) on Dec. 14 is a testament to the new life that head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin has breathed into this program.
The Lady Rebels find themselves sitting fourth in the SEC at 16-4 and 5-2 in the SEC.
Their 16-3 record ranks fourth all time for the best start of a season through the first 19 games and puts them behind the 2006-2007 team. That team would eventually make the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
Ole Miss has the dynamic duo in junior forward Madison Scott and the reigning sixth woman of the year, senior guard Angel Baker. The duo both rank in the top 25 of scoring in the SEC.
Baker averages 14.7 points per game, and Scott averages 11.8 points per game. Scott also ranks ninth in rebounds in the SEC with 9.2 boards per game.
Scott’s offensive emergence over the last 10 games has helped push the Rebels over the mark and has made them a team that has to be beaten on every phase of the court.
McPhee-McCuin has said that she doesn’t want to talk to Scott too much because she has been playing so well.
The most impressive feat for the women’s squad is their suffocating defense.
The Rebels rank eighth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 52.4 points per game and third in the SEC behind South Carolina and LSU.
Ole Miss is 16-0 when holding opponents under 60 points.
What McPhee-McCuin has been able to accomplish and the turnaround throughout her first five seasons in Oxford has been nothing short of a miracle. She holds two women’s basketball program records for best starts in the past 30 seasons in the first 19 games.
When McPhee-McCuin took over, she made it clear that she had leftovers.
She took over a program that had only one conference win prior to her arrival and went through a winless conference season before she could recruit better players and establish a winning culture.
Now the standard is to make the NCAA Tournament, which this team did last season, and win.
Although the meat of conference play has just started and there’s a long way to go, fans can expect the Lady Rebels to continue to make history and continue to climb to the top of the SEC.