*** Katy Lonergan of Ole Miss athletics media relations contributed to this story.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Ole Miss hadn't had too much to brag about since posting a terrific December mark of 10-3 filled with a national ranking, upset wins and big games, including a victory over top 10-ranked Rutgers.
Then came the Southeastern Conference season, and things went sour as the Lady Rebs fell to 5-9 in their final 14-game league season.
Then came Arkansas - make that for the past two games. Ole Miss ended its regular season with an 85-78 win over the Lady Razorbacks Sunday on Senior Day in Oxford for Lady Reb seniors Ellen Buchanan, Ashley Johnson, and LaTanya Jones.
Rematches can be interesting. Sometimes they favor the team that lost the first one with the revenge factor. Sometimes they favor the team that won the first one since that team might be clearly better.
Certainly Ole Miss proved twice in five days now that it is better than Arkansas.
"We haven't shot well all year long," Ole Miss coach Carol Ross said after Thursday's win. "We put a game together where our offense and our defense were pretty stout.
Ashley Johnson scored 23 points to help Ole Miss move to a second-round game against top-seeded LSU on Friday at 12 noon.
Carla Bartee added 21 for the Rebels, now 16-12 and likely headed to the WNIT if they choose to go - unless of course they win three more games in this tournament and make the NCAA field as SEC champions.
Arkansas concluded its season at 13-15.
The Lady 'Backs led 44-41 early in the second half, but Ole Miss then went on a 29-5 run that consumed most of the rest of the game. The scoring stretch began with a layup by Jada Mincy and included six points by Bartee, four of them on free throws. Ole Miss spread the scoring around. Mincy scored 12 points on the night, Armintie Price had 15 and Ashley Awkward added 13.
By the time Arkansas coach Susie Gardner called a time out with 7 minutes to play, the Rebels were leading 72-49.
"I felt like the kids were prepared and the kids were fired up. We had a lot of energy in the first half," Gardner said. "In the second half, we were a different team."
Ross said her team has the right outlook for the postseason.
"We are now 1-0 and looking forward to playing one of the best teams in the nation," Ross said. "I'm proud of this team."
The Rebels used their speed to move quickly downcourt; they made 14 points on the fast break. Arkansas saw long shot after long shot miss.
"The kids told me they wanted to press. They were committed to the press," Gardner said. "They (Ole Miss) just dribbled right through us."
The Razorbacks were 3 of 23 from 3-point range and shot 28.8 percent from the field.
"We live and die by the 3-point shot," Gardner said.
Ole Miss shot 49.3 percent from the field and made 7 of 16 3-point attempts, including 4 of 6 by Johnson and 3 of 9 by Bartee.
Kristin Andjelkovic led Arkansas with 14 points, Kristin Moore scored 13 and Brittney Vaughn added 10.
Price had 11 first-half points and four assists for Ole Miss, and Bartee and Johnson each had 10 points in the first period.
Lady Rebs roll over Arkansas 94-64
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