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Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Looks to Keep Rolling vs. Jackson State

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss women’s basketball returns to the court to welcome Jackson State to The Pavilion on Tuesday night, with tipoff set for 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

TEAM FACTS

Ole Miss Rebels (4-0, 0-0 SEC)
Head Coach: Yolett McPhee-McCuin • 3rd Season at Ole Miss (20-45) • 114-108 career record (8th Season)

Jackson State Lady Tigers (1-3, 0-0 SWAC)
Head Coach: Tomekia Reed • 3rd Season at Jackson State (38-27) • 38-27 career record (3rd season)

ON THE AIR

Television/Online: SEC Network+
Play-by-Play: Seth Austin
Color: Lindsay Roy

OLE MISS RADIO

Radio: 105.1 FM
Audio: TuneIn
Play-by-Play: Graham Doty

SERIES NOTES vs. JACKSON STATE

Series History
Ole Miss leads, 22-3

Current Streak
Ole Miss, 16

First Meeting
Dec. 6, 1976
• L, 66-60, in Jackson

Last Meeting
Dec. 1, 2016
• W, 89-41, in Oxford
• 800th win in program history

TEAM NOTES

LAST TIME OUT (VS. MVSU)
• Rebels roll MVSU for fourth straight win, 86-46
• Rebels never trailed, improve to 4-0 for first time since 2016-17
• First time scoring 80 points or more in three of the first four games of a season since 2014-15
• Newcomers: 66 of 86 points
• Double-digits from Shakira Austin (19), Madison Scott (17) and Donnetta Johnson (14)
• Ole Miss has held first four opponents to fewer than 60 points for first time in program history
• Held MVSU to 31 percent shooting, 21 second-half points
• Ole Miss season highs in steals (19; most since 2016) and turnovers forced (28; most since 2019)
• Ole Miss: 62.5 percent 2nd Half shooting; Austin, Scott and Johnson combined for 34 of 54 2nd Half points
• Shot 49 percent overall, scored 24 points off 28 turnovers, received 25 points off the bench and had 10 different Rebels contribute to the scoreboard
• Same starting lineup for fourth game in a row: Mimi Reid, Taylor Smith, Donnetta Johnson, Madison Scott and Shakira Austin
• Quotable: “First few games have been good. A lot of nerves from my end with adjusting. It’s been really exciting to compete with my sisters. We’re going to continue to get better and prepare for SEC play.” – Madison Scott

LEAVIN’ EM IN THE DUST
Through four games, Ole Miss has gotten the upper hand from the jump on the offensive end in four bombastic victories thus far — including three wire-to-wire wins. On the year, the Rebels have only trailed for 11 seconds (vs. McNeese State) and have not led for a meager total of just 4:17, leaving the remaining 155:43 played as lead time for Ole Miss.

2020-21 Lead/Trail
Total Minutes: 160:00
Ole Miss Lead Time: 155:43
Ole Miss Trail Time: 0:11
Time Tied: 4:06

HISTORIC START
The 2020-21 Rebel squad has gotten off to a spectacular start on both ends of the court, notching the fewest points allowed through four games in school history (191) and scoring the fourth-most in the same timespan (359) en route their first 4-0 start since 2016-17. Ole Miss has scored at least 80 points in three of its first four now for the first time since 2014-15 (after scoring 80 or more just twice in the entirety of the 2019-20 season) and has scored 90 or more twice after not doing so in an entire season since 2017-18.

The Rebels have posted two historic win margins as well, with a 56-point win vs. Alcorn State (104-48) and a 55-point win vs. McNeese State (99-44) ranking sixth and seventh in program history — the largest wins at Ole Miss since 2015. The 104-point outing vs. Alcorn State is the 35th 100-point game in program history and the first by a Rebel squad since 2015.

BALANCE IS KEY
Ole Miss’ superb early displays of offensive and defensive prowess through four games has launched the Rebels into the upper echelon of the national rankings. The Rebels are one of just six teams to rank in the top-20 in both scoring offense (20th, 89.8 PPG) and scoring defense (5th, 47.8 PPG), as well as one of just five in the nation to sit top-15 in shooting offense (15th, 50.0 percent) and shooting defense (5th, 27.7 percent). In both instances, Ole Miss is the only SEC school in attendance.

The Rebels are also one of the most balanced teams in the SEC at the moment, ranking near the top in:

• Scoring Offense (3rd, 89.8 PPG), Scoring Defense (1st, 47.8 PPG), Scoring Margin (1st, +42.0 PPG)
• FG Percentage (2nd, 50.0), FG Defense (1st, 27.7)
• Three-point shooting (1st, 37.2), Three-point defense (2nd, 20.3)
• Assists (1st, 22.0), Steals (1st, 13.3), Turnover Margin (2nd, +9.75), Assist/Turnover Ratio (1st, 1.5)

ELECTRIC OFFENSE
Ole Miss has been playing with the pedal down since its season began on Nov. 30, riding one of the nation’s most prolific offenses to a 4-0 record. The Rebels rank near the top of the NCAA in several key offensive categories, including assists per game (3rd, 22.0), scoring margin (7th, +42.0), turnover margin (10th, +9.75), assist/turnover ratio (15th, 1.54), assists (15th, 88), shooting percentage (15th, .500) and scoring offense (20th, 89.8 PPG).

Additionally, Ole Miss leads the SEC in scoring margin by a whopping 15.0 PPG and assists by 3.5 per game. The potent Rebel three-point shooting outfit leads the conference at a 37.2 percent clip as well.

Other impressive offensive notes among other SEC schools this season include:

• Top-two single-game assist totals of 26 vs. Alcorn State and 25 vs. McNeese State
• 104 points vs. Alcorn State rank No. 4 this season
• Ole Miss owns two of the top three scoring margins in the SEC this season (+56 vs. Alcorn State, +55 vs. McNeese State), trailing only an 81-point win by then-No. 1 South Carolina over College of Charleston on Nov. 25
• 40 field goals vs. Alcorn State ranks No. 3 this season
• 61.5 shooting percentage vs. Alcorn State No. 2 in the SEC, No. 8 in the NCAA

BABY REBELS
With a slew of new faces on the Ole Miss roster, the Rebels now own the 10th- youngest roster in the nation with an average age of 19.67 as of Nov. 25. Furthermore, Ole Miss is one of just three programs nationwide with its entire roster to have two or fewer years of Division I experience at the start of the year (alongside Indiana State and Murray State).

AIN’T WASTING TIME NO MORE
The new crop of Rebels on the floor for Ole Miss this season has wasted no time in establishing their presence, scoring a combined 79.9 percent of all scoring through four games this season (287 of 359).

vs. McNeese State: 88 of 99 (88.9 percent)
vs. Kansas: 56 of 70 (80.0 percent)
vs. Alcorn State: 77 of 104 (74.0 percent)
vs. MVSU: 66 of 86 (76.7 percent)

Furthermore, the quartet of Shakira Austin (61 points), Donnetta Johnson (56 points), Madison Scott (51 points) and Snudda Collins (43 points) are all averaging more than 10 points per game and are together accounting for 58.8 percent of all season scoring this year.

SHARING IS CARING
The Ole Miss offense has been highly efficient through four games, and that is due in large part to its ability to share the ball. The Rebels currently lead the SEC and rank third nationally with an average of 22.0 assists per game, helped greatly by three games of 20 or more assists. Since 1998, Ole Miss has had a max of six games with 20 assists or more, doing so twice in consecutive seasons in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The Rebels own the two best assist outings  in the SEC so far this year, with a 26-assist game vs. Alcorn State and a 25-assist contest vs. McNeese State. The 26 dimes by the Rebel offense vs. Alcorn ranks as the most since 2009. Leading that charge is starting point guard Mimi Reid, who leads the conference at 6.0 assists per game. Compounded with an average of 24.0 turnovers forced on defense against 14.3 Rebel turnovers, Ole Miss currently leads the conference and sits 15th in the NCAA in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5.

On the season, the Rebels are tallying an assist on 69.1 percent of their made field goals.

Percentage of FG with Assists
Game 1 (McNeese): 25-35 (71.4%)
Game 2 (Kansas): 16-25 (64.0%)
Game 3 (Alcorn): 26-40 (65.0%)
Game 4 (MVSU): 21-33 (63.6%)
Total: 88-of-130 (67.7%)

LIGHTS. OUT.
The Rebels simply couldn’t miss against Alcorn State on Dec. 8, nearly breaking the school record for single-game shooting percentage. Ole Miss wound up with the second-best mark in school history at 61.5 percent, helped greatly by a 64.7 percent first-half percentage that ranked as the best since 2014 (Jan. 16, vs. Vanderbilt, 68.0), and best in non-conference since 2009 (Dec. 20, vs. Winston-Salem State, 65.6). On the season, Ole Miss is shooting an SEC runner-up 50 percent from the field, and the Rebels lead among schools who have played multiple games by 13 percentage points.

Single-Game FG Shooting, All-Time
1. vs. New Orleans (2004-05) – 63.1
2. vs. Alcorn State (2020-21) – 61.5
3. vs. Winston-Salem St. (2009-10) – 60.3
4. vs. Vanderbilt (1985-86) – 60.0

FROM DOWNTOWN!
The secret to Ole Miss’ SEC-leading three-point percentage of 37.2 percent has been to ride the hot hand. Through four games, five different Rebels have hit multiple threes in a game, with Snudda Collins and Donnetta Johnson hitting three or more. Of the 29 trifectas made this season, 13 have come from the duo of Collins and Johnson, with Collins’ 9 three-balls putting her eighth in the conference at 2.3 per contest.

DEFENSE! DEFENSE!
The Rebels have been near-impossible to score on through three games in 2020-21, owning the NCAA’s fifth-best shooting defense at 27.7 percent and its fifth-best scoring defense at 47.8 PPG — both of which lead the SEC. It’s been an all-around team effort on the defensive side of the ball, as Ole Miss is keeping foes off the line with the 24th-ranked three-point shooting defense (20.3 percent), the 8th-most turnovers forced (24.0/game) and the 16th-most steals per contest at 13.2. Against McNeese State, Ole Miss held the Cowgirls to 18 percent from the field, the lowest by a Rebel opponent since 2016, and the 19 steals by the Rebels against MVSU tie for the single-game lead in the SEC this season and are the most by a Rebel squad since 2016.

That defensive hustle has produced results, holding the first four Rebel opponents to fewer than 60 points for the first time in program history. The 191 total points allowed by Ole Miss stands as the fewest through four games in program history.

OFF THE LINE
Three-point defense has been a point of emphasis during the Coach Yo era, with 42 of 65 of her opponents being held to five trifectas or fewer.

1st Season (2018-19)
17-of-31 (54.8%)

2nd Season (2019-20)
21-of-30 (70.0%)

3rd Season (2020-21)
4-of-4 (100%)

STEADY STARTING-FIVE FOR THE REBS
After a consistent rotation during her first two years at Ole Miss, Coach Yo has found a solid starting five in Shakira Austin, Mimi Reid, Donnetta Johnson, Taylor Smith and Madison Scott, who have started each of the first four games for the Rebels in 2020-21.

Ole Miss used 20 different starting lineups in 30 games of the 2019-20 season. In Coach Yo’s first season with the Rebels, Ole Miss used 17 different starting lineups through 31 total games played. Ole Miss has not used a lineup five times in the same season since Coach Yo’s first season, and has not used the same lineup five games in a row since a five-game stretch from Feb. 4-19, 2018.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

BALL DON’T LIE
Ole Miss garnered national attention when it added ESPN’s No. 1 rated transfer in April, Shakira Austin of Maryland, and through four games as a Rebel she has not disappointed. Austin leads all Rebels with 15.3 points per game, while also chipping in 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.8 assists per game. The Preseason All-SEC honorre and Lisa Leslie Award Watch List member has especially been a dominant force down low for the Rebels in the early going, recording multiple blocks in three of her four games played — pushing her career total to games with multiple blocks to 29. Austin has also been in double-digits in each of her first four games as a Rebel, making her new career total 39.

Austin was a significant contributor on two Big Ten championship teams at Maryland in 2019 and 2020, averaging 10.1 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while shooting 47.2 percent overall in 66 games and 47 starts during her two years with the Terrapins. Austin shattered the Maryland single-season blocks record her freshman season with 89, earning her a spot on both the Big Ten Defensive Team and All-Freshman team, and followed that up with a slot on the 2020 All-Big Ten Second Team after ranking No. 1 nationally in 2019-20 in advanced analytic On-Court Forced Turnover Rate (via Pivot Analysis). Coming out of Riverdale Baptist, Austin was ESPN’s No. 3 overall prospect and a McDonald’s All-American.

OLD GUARD
Redshirt junior Mimi Reid returns as the Rebel with the most experience in 2020-21, with 58 career starts to her name. The Bronx native has finished each of her first two seasons at Ole Miss ranked in the top-10 in the SEC in assists, finishing last season seventh at 4.1 per game, and she has showed no signs of slowing down in 2020-21 as she currently leads the SEC at 6.0 dimes per contest (22nd NCAA).

Reid also flashed some scoring aptitude late in the year as well, averaging 15.4 points and shooting 43.6 percent overall in a five-game stretch from Feb. 13-27 last year. In all five games Reid scored in double digits (she had never done so in three straight prior to 2019-20) and her offensive prowess was highlighted by a career-high 21 points at Tennessee on Feb. 27, the first time she had broken 20 points in her career. Furthermore, Reid hit 18 straight free throws across four games from Feb. 16-27, ending up with a 19-of-22 (.864) line in that stretch.

BIG FISH
Five-star signee Madison Scott has proved why she was a top-flight recruit coming out of high school, playing a pivotal role for the Rebels through her first four games in an Ole Miss jersey. Scott leads all Rebels and is tied for the SEC lead among freshmen in rebounding (7.0/game), and she ranks third on the team at 12.8 points per game. Scott is coming off her best game yet, a career-high 17 points against MVSU that also featured her third game with at least seven boards. Scott put forth an eye-opening performance on the glass vs. Kansas, nabbing a game and career-high 10 rebounds, five of which came in a crucial spot for the Rebels in a dominant fourth quarter vs. the Jayhawks.

Scott, the No. 13 national prospect out of Bishop McNamara in Maryland, is the first McDonald’s All-American in Ole Miss women’s basketball history (and just the second overall). Scott had a prolific career at Bishop McNamara, which was capped off by a senior season in which she was named the Washington Post Metro Player of the Year after notching a line of 13.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.9 blocks and 1.8 steals and a .570 shooting percentage her senior season.

NICE SHOOTIN’ KID
Freshman Snudda Collins opened her Ole Miss career in historic fashion vs. McNeese State on Nov. 30, leading all scorers with 23 points off the bench with a 5-of-8 clip from beyond the arc to boot. The three-star signee out of Brookhaven, Mississippi was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for her efforts, and her 23 points stand as the most ever by a Rebel freshman in a season opener (in available records). Collins was the leader of a bevy of newcomers on the floor vs. the Cowgirls, who combined for 88 of the 99 total points Ole Miss scored — the most in the Coach Yo era and the most by a Rebel squad in a season opener since 2005. Furthermore, her 23 points are the most by any Rebel in a season opener since 2017.

At Brookhaven High School, Collins helped lead her team to the 5A state title game her senior season to cap off an extraordinary career that saw her average 12.0 points and end as the No. 4 ranked prospect in Mississippi.

THE WAIT IS OVER
Redshirt sophomore Donnetta Johnson waited a long time to play basketball again after sitting out 2018-19 due to NCAA transfer rules. She has quickly asserted herself as a dynamite scoring option for the Rebels, ranking second on the team with an average of 14.0 points through her first four games played. Johnson put on a show on national TV vs. Kansas, dropping a career-high 21 points and showcasing her signature ambidextrous style of shooting. Johnson had already eclipsed her career high by the 7:23 mark of the second quarter, an electric first half that helped propel Ole Miss to a 70-53 win over the Jayhawks.

Johnson played in 27 games and started eight her freshman season at Georgia in 2018-19 before transferring to Ole Miss and sitting out last season. At Georgia, Johnson sparked the Bulldogs in a historic upset over No. 13 Tennessee, which earned her SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Johnson was the No. 28 guard nationally coming out of Baldwin High School in Queens, New York.

SHARPSHOOTER
Sophomore Tiya Douglas came to Ole Miss with a reputation as a sharpshooter from beyond the arc, opening her Rebel career 5-of-5 from distance and currently sitting second on the team with a 6-of-9 clip from three. Douglas has hit multiple threes in each of her past two games, which is nothing new for her after hitting an NJCAA record 13 threes in a single game her freshman year at Trinity Valley Community College, where she was a 2020 WBCA Honorable Mention All-American.

BUCKETS GALORE!
Fellow five-star signee Jacorriah Bracey was a superb scorer at Thomas E. Edwards High School in Drew, Mississippi, averaging a sublime 31.2 points and 6.3 assists per game throughout her entire career. She finished off her high school career with an out-of-this-world senior year, recording 35.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists en route to a 3A state runner-up finish and Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year honors. Bracey eclipsed the double-digit line for the first time in her career vs. Alcorn State, pouring in 12 points off the bench.

OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS
Junior Taylor Smith was always known for her smooth mid-range jumper, but she recently developed that just a few feet backward into a deadly three-point shot late last season. With just three trifectas in her career entering a Feb. 13 contest at Florida, Smith drained three from beyond the arc — including two in a row — to help stimulate what ended up as an electric outing for the Rebel offense. Smith kept it up against No. 23 Arkansas, going a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the arc and hitting all six of her first shots, ending with 17 points. Smith followed that up with a 3-of-7 three-point shooting effort at Missouri as part of her career-high 21 points. In a five-game stretch from Feb. 13-27, Smith averaged 13.6 points and 2.0 threes per game, while shooting .456 overall and .526 from three. Prior, she was only averaging 4.7 points.

DUMITRESCU OUT FOR SEASON
Redshirt freshman Sarah Dumitrescu suffered another devastating knee injury vs. Alcorn State on Dec. 8, ending her season prematurely for the second consecutive season. Dumitrescu tore her left ACL late in the fourth quarter against the Lady Braves in excruciating fashion, a heartbreaking setback for the Romanian native who tore her right ACL on Nov. 26, 2019 vs. Sam Hosuton State, ending her true freshman campaign just seven games into the slate.

PUCKETT OUT FOR SEASON
Ole Miss received heartbreaking news during the preseason, with redshirt junior Andeija Puckett going down with a season-ending knee injury after sitting out all of 2019-20 due to NCAA transfer rules. Puckett transferred to Ole Miss from Cincinnati, where she contributed for two seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Puckett played in all 35 games for the Bearcats in 2018-19, averaging 4.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game for a Cincinnati team that advanced to the WNIT quarterfinal. Coming out of Griffin High School in her native Georgia, Puckett was rated a three-star recruit by ESPN after a prolific high school career that saw her leave Griffin as its all-time leader in scoring (1,330) and rebounds (790).

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

COACH YO VS. THE TOP-25
Being in the SEC means facing some of the toughest schools in the nation, and Ole Miss head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin has had a tough road through her first two seasons in Oxford. Coach Yo’s Rebels have gone up against 13 nationally ranked squads in two years at Ole Miss, 12 of which have come in SEC play. Ole Miss has one win against those 12, a 55-49 upset over No. 16 Kentucky in Lexington on Jan. 13, 2019, which marked the first ranked road win by a Rebel team since 2011 and the first win at UK overall since 2007.

vs. Ranked Schools (First Year)
#2 UConn – Nov. 22, 2018 (L, 90-50)
#16 Kentucky – Jan. 13, 2019 (W, 55-49)
#6 MSU – Jan. 27, 2019 (L, 80-49)
#20 Texas A&M – Feb. 3, 2019 (L, 72-60)
#12 S. Carolina – Feb. 7, 2019 (L, 76-42)
#6 MSU – Feb. 21, 2019 (L, 88-60)

vs. Ranked Schools (Second Year)
#10 Texas A&M – Jan. 6, 2020 (L, 79-35)
#23 Tennessee – Jan. 9, 2020 (L, 84-28)
#9 MSU – Jan. 26, 2020 (L, 80-39)
#1 S. Carolina – Jan. 30, 2020 (L, 87-32)
#23 Arkansas – Feb. 16, 2020 (L, 108-64)
#14 Kentucky – Feb. 20, 2020 (L, 94-52)
#9 MSU – March 1, 2020 (L, 84-59)

RELOADED FOR 2020-21
Ole Miss welcomes a revamped roster for the 2020-21 season, which includes six newcomers (four freshmen, two transfers), as well as three who sat out last season in Donnetta Johnson (Georgia transfer), Andeija Puckett (Cincinnati transfer) and Caitlin McGee, who enrolled at Ole Miss one year early in 2010-20.

TOP OF THE CHARTS
The Rebels signed the SEC’s No. 1 ranked recruiting class in 2019, who will hit the floor for the first time in an Ole Miss jersey this Monday. Five-star signees Madison Scott (No. 13 overall) and Jacorriah Bracey (No. 48 overall) highlighted the group, and were bolstered by three-star prospects Snudda Collins (No. 4 in Mississippi) and Caitlin McGee.

WHAT RETURNS IN 2020-21
Scoring: 42.0% (23.8 of 56.6 PPG)
Three-Pointers: 18.8% (31 of 165)
Rebounds: 44.6% (12.3 of 27.6 RPG)
Assists: 56.2% (7.0 of 12.4 APG)
Blocks: 15.0% (0.4 of 2.7 BPG)
Steals: 53.6% (3.9 of 7.3 SPG)
Minutes: 46.8% (94.0 of 200.8 MPG)

Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWBB, Facebook at Ole Miss WBB and on Instagram at Ole MissWBB. You can also follow head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin on Twitter at @YolettMcCuin