UM women win huge game against Vandy

It was yet another record-breaking day for Armintie Price as the senior led Ole Miss (13-4, 2-0 SEC) to a 76-66 upset of the No. 10 Vanderbilt Commodores (14-2, 1-1).

"(It) was an outstanding SEC win and very simply put, the formula is magic, but it is no secret, and that's defend, rebound and take care of the basketball," Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross said.

It didn't take long; just minutes into the first half Price surpassed her head coach, as the all-time steals leader at Ole Miss, collecting her 334th steal as an Ole Miss Rebel.

"(Coach Ross) always talks about her steals record and she talks about everything she does and so I'm always like ‘I'm going to beat it, I'm going to get it, I'm going to get it'," Price said jokingly. "I'm just grateful for my teammates, you know, the pressure that they put on the ball in order for me to get them."

That was just the tip of the iceberg for Price. Although she began the game missing her first five shots, she finished the day with game-highs in points with 21 and 11 rebounds, as well as seven assists and three steals to lead the Rebels.

Like their male counterparts a night before, the Rebels jumped out to an early lead on their visiting opponents, taking a 20-13 lead mid-way through the first half.

Ole Miss' pressure was a major reason the Rebels had a 34-22 lead going into the half, and dominated most of the statistical categories. At the half Ole Miss had scored 14 points off of turnovers, compared to the ‘Dores' three.

Bucking a recent trend of the Rebels, the home team kept the pressure on the Commodores throughout the second half.

After Vanderbilt opened the half on an 8-2 run, Ole Miss buckled down on the backs of Jada Mincy and Price to keep the nationally-ranked visitors at bay, pushing their lead out to 10 points on an Ashley Awkward long jumper to put Ole Miss up 48-38.

For most of the remainder of the game the Rebels and Commodores traded baskets until the final buzzer sounded.

One key to the Rebels' victory was their ability to keep Vanderbilt's taller players in-check for most of the game, outscoring the ‘Dores 36-18 in the paint as well as outrebounding them 47-27.

"Rebounding is obviously a state of mind," Ross said. "If it was based on height then we would never outrebound anybody."

Carla Thomas, who stands at 6-foot-3 for Vanderbilt, was held to just five rebounds and 18 points.

Vanderbilt's Liz Sherwood, who was the tallest player on the court at any point in the game, at 6-4, was held to just one rebound and six points in 18 minutes.

Finding themselves down by double-figures for much of the game, the Commodores were forced to try and get on the scoreboard via the long ball, taking 24 shots from behind the three-point arc throughout the game, but making just eight.

Senior Caroline Williams led the ‘Dores with 19 points, going 4-of-13 from three-point land.

"They were very very intense defensively and pressured us. We took quick shots that weren't necessarily good shots," Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb said. "I thought they did a good job at maintaining that intensity and they never let up the entire time."

On the other end of the court, the Rebels made no three-pointers, although they only attempted nine.

The win marks the second time the Rebels have beaten a top-10 ranked team in as many years. Last year the Rebels upset No. 7 Rutgers 67-57 in Oxford.

The Rebels will have their work cut out for them again in their next contest when they host the No. 6 ranked LSU Tigers on Thursday, leaving next to no time to savor their victory.

"You have to move on. I've been in this league a long time and you get some losses that just rip your heart out and then you get some great wins like today that just get you excited and motivated," Ross said. "You have to stay even. You have to enjoy the good, you can't get too low on the bad, and you've got to move on and that's what makes this league great. You can't take a day off, you can't celebrate very long, and you've got to go on."

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