Ole Miss women’s basketball hits the road for another tough match against LSU in the Bayou in a game that tips off at 7 p.m. this evening and will be featured on SEC Network.
Having won nine of its last 10 meetings with Ole Miss, LSU leads the overall series 15-9 when playing in Baton Rouge – a clear indicator of the Tigers’ home-court advantage over the Rebels. Although the Rebels lost a tough game against Alabama on Sunday, they are looking to battle back with a win in front of grueling LSU fans tonight.
This season Ole Miss has seen a lot of success from behind the arc. Despite losing the matchup, the Rebels were able to sink 15 threes against the Crimson Tide – a number that ties both their season high and the record for third-most in the history of the program. In three of the past four games, Ole Miss has sunk at least eight threes and is currently sixth in the conference in 3-point shots made per game, averaging 6.7. Making these shots will be crucial if the Rebels hope to jump out to a solid start against the Tigers by scoring more points in the first half than in their previous meetings.
Not only have the Rebels been prominent from behind the arc – they have also been aggressive in shot blocking. Freshman Promise Taylor, who was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the third time this season on Jan. 23, has been showcasing her promise at center all year. This season, the team has blocked 123 shots; Taylor has blocked 71 of them, averaging 2.84 blocks per game. It is safe to say that Taylor’s defensive presence will be vital to win the game in Baton Rouge.
With the Rebels averaging 4.9 blocks per game, they are on their way to having 142 blocks by the end of the season. This could be a record-breaking year, for the Rebels are already nearing the standing single-season record of 129 blocks, which was set during the 1982-83 season. Taylor is not only the team’s top shot blocker – she also has the highest shooting percentage among SEC freshmen, at .601.
For Ole Miss to leave this game victorious, head coach Matt Insell’s team will need to tear up the court during the first half, which has been essential for success so far this season. The Rebels have gone 10-3 with a half time lead but have fallen short in the second half on multiple occasions.
This season, the Rebels have utilized 10 different starting lineups which have featured 10 of Ole Miss’ 11 players. Freshman Taylor, and juniors Alissa Alston and Madinah Muhammad are meshing well, and each seems poised to receive postseason honors. However, these three will have to focus their efforts to beat the Tigers and come out on top in a hostile LSU territory, which is doable if the Rebels play to their full potential.