The Ole Miss Lady Rebels got a come-from-behind victory over a stubborn Kennesaw State team 72-60 to open the 2022-2023 season in the Sandy and John Black Pavilion on Monday night.
The Rebels had early troubles shooting the ball and ended the first quarter down 18-14.
The second quarter proved to be a huge test of endurance and will for the Rebels. They found themselves down in their biggest deficit of the night, 18-25, but fought back to regain the lead to end the first half up 34-31 and never looked back.
The Rebels lost their home opener a year ago to Belmont before they went on a 13-game win streak, so when Ole Miss was down, there was a fear of another deflating upset loss.
“Well, I’m glad I’m not in here talking about a loss,” said head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin after the game. “Last year I was talking about a loss, so I’m a half glass full type of gal. You’re not going to hear a lot of complaints from me.”
McPhee-McCuin went on to say, “This is a new group, figuring a lot of things out. I think as we continue to grow, the competition is only going to get harder, but I think for our group, we are going to fly this plane as we go. It’s a lot of newness, a lot of people have to work out some kinks, and I’m just grateful that we came out with a win.“
Three Rebels finished with 15 or more points including senior guard Angel Baker, who was the safety net for this team throughout the night with 18 points, shooting 8-for-13 from the floor.
Junior forward Madison Scott finished with 16 points and shot 7-for-14 from the floor and junior forward Snudda Collins had 15 points, shooting 3-for-13 from the floor and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Ole Miss controlled the glass against Kennesaw State, out-rebounding their opponents 41-28 and forcing the Owls to commit 19 turnovers in the outing.
The Rebels still have some cleaning up to do. Although they won the game, they did not shoot the ball well from behind the arch. The Rebels shot 17% from the three-point line.
“I watch my team every day, so everything that they did or did not do I’ve seen for about 21 practices,” said McPhee-McCuin after the game. “So there is not going to be much of an overreaction for me. It’s really just show and tell. Like, ‘Hey here’s where we can get better.’ Everything that I expected showed good and bad.”
Ole Miss will host Southeastern Missouri State today in the SJB Pavilion. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m. CST and will stream on SEC Network+.