UM women's basketball game notes for NCAA

The seventh-seeded Ole Miss Rebels will face the No. 10 seed TCU Horned Frogs in Sunday's opening round of play in the 2007 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship at 11:22 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2 in Hartford, Conn.

The winner of the Ole Miss-TCU match-up will take on the winner between No. 2 seed Maryland and No. 15 seed Harvard on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (EST) ... The Rebels lead the all-time series 2-0 with TCU, but the two teams have not played each other since 1994 ... Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross will be facing TCU for the first time in her career ... Ole Miss is making its 17th NCAA Tournament appearance ... The Rebels boast a 15-16 overall mark in NCAA Tournament play and are 0-2 under Ross.

Ole Miss is 21-10 overall and finished with a 9-5 mark in Southeastern Conference play earning the fifth seed in the SEC Tournament ... Ole Miss reached the 20-win mark for the first time under head coach Carol Ross and the first time since going 21-8 during the 1994-95 season ... Including her time at Florida, Ross has now led eight teams to 20-win seasons ... Ole Miss is making its fourth-straight postseason appearance under Ross, and is returning to the NCAA field after competing in the WNIT last season ... Senior guard Armintie Price was recently named a finalist for the 2007 WBCA/Kodak All-America Team ... Price needs just two assists and 10 steals to go over the 400 mark in both categories for her career ... Senior guard Ashley Awkward eclipsed the 900 point plateau at the SEC Tournament, she now has 912 career points.

The Horned Frogs enter Sunday's game with a 21-10 overall mark and posted an 11-5 record in Mountain West Conference play. TCU tallied 20 wins for the sixth time in the last seven seasons and finished in a three-way tie for second place in the MWC on their way to their seventh-straight NCAA Tournament bid.

TCU is led by junior guard Adrienne Ross who led the MWC with 17.5 points per game. She also leads the team with 92 steals on the season. Ross was recently named a finalist for the 2007 WBCA/Kodak All-America team and was named the MWC Co-Player of the Year.

Senior guard-forward Ashley Davis adds 13.9 points and 4.4 rebounds and senior forward Hanna Biernacka drops in 11.7 tallies per game. Junior forward Lorie Butler-Rayford leads the Frogs with 7.3 caroms per contest.

TCU head coach Jeff Mittie is 173- 72 in his eighth season with the Horned Frogs. His overall coaching mark is 305-129 in 15 years in the business.

Today's game will be the third meeting between Ole Miss and TCU, with the Rebels leading the series 2-0. The Rebels and Horned Frogs met to open the season in 1993 and then played again the following year. The following is the series history:

Date Site Result

11-26-93, Ft. Worth, Ole Miss, 82-67

12-2-94, Oxford, Ole Miss, 95-56

Ole Miss owns a 2-1 mark against the four teams in the Hartford pod of the Dayton Region. The Rebels are 2-0 versus first round opponent TCU. They are 0-1 versus Maryland and have never faced Harvard.

By picking up the No. 7 seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, Ole Miss is making its 17th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament's 26-year history. The Rebels are also making their third appearance under fourth-year head coach Carol Ross after playing the WNIT last season. Ole Miss' 17 tournament appearances tie for 17th most in the nation. Tennessee is the only team to have made an appearance in all 26 tournaments.

Ole Miss head coach Carol Ross is no stranger to the Big Dance. In 12 seasons as the head coach at the University of Florida, Ross guided the Lady Gators to nine NCAA Tournament appearances. Ross' 1997 Lady Gator squad finished with a trip to the NCAA Championship Elite Eight. When Ross' Rebels take the court against Texas Christian on Sunday, it will mark her 12th NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach in her 16-year career.

Ole Miss is 105-120 (.467 winning percentage) versus schools in the 2007 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. The following is a list of the schools from the tournament and Ole Miss' record against them. Ole Miss is 2-0 versus first round foe TCU.

Price Named SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Unanimous All-SEC First Team

Ole Miss' Armintie Price was named Defensive Player of the Year according to a poll of the league coaches. Price was also tabbed a unanimous First-team honoree by both the SEC coaches and the Associated Press. Price ranks among the top five in the league in scoring (18.0), rebounding (9.1), assists (4.8) and steals (3.8) and is the only player to do so. She earned First team honors for the third-straight season after being named to the Second team as a freshman. Price is one of only four Rebels to earn First team honors three times in their careers, joining Eugena Conner, Jennifer Gillom and Clara Jackson, with Conner and Gillom being four-time honorees. Price, who is the SEC record-holder in Player of the Week honors with nine, recently became just the fifth player in NCAA history to record over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists and 300 steals in a career. Price also picked up SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second time in her career. The Myrtle, Miss., native nabbed the award as a sophomore and is the only two-time winner of the award since its inception.The 5-foot-9 guard not only leads the SEC in steals, but tops the NCAA as well, having collected 109 this season. She recorded Ole Miss' first-ever triple-double by posting a Rebel single game record 12 steals to go along with 34 points and 15 rebounds in a win over Illinois. Her 12 steals tied the SEC single game record and is the top mark in the NCAA this season. Price has posted 19 games this season with three or more thefts, including six contests where she tallied six or more steals. Her masterful defense is about more than just steals, though, as Price tallied 16 blocks from her guard position and is the top rebounding guard in the history of the Southeastern Conference with 1,153 boards in her career, including 716 on the defensive end.

Rebel guard Alliesha Easley was the seventh Ole Miss player to earn a spot on the All-Freshman team, following in teammate Armintie Price's footsteps. The Cordova, Tenn., native finished the regular season ranked third on the team in scoring with 11.1 points per game. She started all 29 games, tallying double figures in 18. Easley was named SEC Freshman of the Week twice. She recorded a career best 25 points versus Illinois and led the Rebels with 19 points in their win over #5 LSU. Easley also averaged 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for Ole Miss.

Ole Miss senior guard Armintie Price became just the fifth player in NCAA history to post 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists and 300 steals in a career with 18 points versus Mississippi State on February 18. Price currently has 2,055 points, 1,170 rebounds, 398 assists and 390 steals. She joins Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Sophia Young. With just two more assists and 10 more steals, Price will join Miller as the only players to have over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds 400 assists and 400 steals.

The Rebels must be considered one of the blue collar teams around the NCAA. They are a hard-working team that doesn't mind dabbling in overtime. The Rebels have played in nine overtime periods this season, which is the most in the NCAA. Ole Miss has played in a triple overtime outing and two double-overtime games. Ole Miss has won three extra sessions, lost two and tied in four. Ole Miss is 3-2 in games decided in extra periods, and have won three-straight.

Ole Miss reached the 20-win mark for the first time under head coach Carol Ross and the first time since going 21-8 during the 1994-95 season. The nine SEC wins are also the most under Ross at Ole Miss and the most for the program since the 1991-92 team went undefeated in league play and took home the regular season title. The 20 wins marks the eighth time a Ross-coached team has reached the mark in her 16 seasons as a head coach, as she led seven Florida squads to 20 or more wins

Ole Miss senior guard Ashley Awkward has thrived for the Rebel offense since opening Southeastern Conference play. Awkward has posted double figures in 16-straight games, averaging 16.0 points over the span, which ranked fifth in the conference in SEC games only. Grand Theft

Senior guard Armintie Price recently became the NCAA leader in steals per game at 3.8. Price has tallied 118 steals in 31 games so far this season and has ranked in the NCAA's top 10 in the category from the start of the season. Price assumed the top spot in February. She had nine steals in the SEC Tournament. Price picked up five or more steals in nine games this season, including a career-best and Ole Miss single game record 12 thefts against Illinois.

A trio of Rebel basketball players formed a singing group two years ago and has been performing ever since. Senior Armintie Price and juniors Danetra Forrest and Carla Bartee formed the group The Anointed Voices, a primarily gospel singing group nearly two years ago. The trio has performed several times locally and was invited to be the featured entertainment at the 2006 Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. The Anointed Voices performed in place of an opening prayer to a large round of applause.

Rebel senior guard Armintie Price is not only one of the most well-rounded players in the SEC, but in the NCAA. Price is one of three players to lead her team in all four major statistical categories, joining Evansville's Rebekah Parker and Middle Tennessee's Chrissy Givens. Price is the Ole Miss leader in scoring (18.1), rebounding (9.1), assists (4.7) and steals (3.8). She ranks in the top five in the SEC in each of those four categories and is the only player in the conference to do so. She also ranks in the top 50 in the NCAA in all four categories, including ranking No. 1 in steals.

On Monday, Feb. 5, Armintie Price nabbed her fourth SEC Player of the Week honor of the season, marking her ninth overall selection for the award. The four honors this season ties Tennessee sophomore Candace Parker for the most honors this season, while the nine selections are the most by individual in the history of the SEC.

The Ole Miss women's basketball team added depth to an already promising backcourt announcing on Jan. 18 that LaKendra Phillips of Florida has transferred to join the Rebels. Phillips, who must sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules, will be eligible for competition following the completion of the Fall 2007 semester. Phillips, a 5-9 guard, played in 12 games for the Gators before leaving at the end of the semester. She averaged 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per game, while logging nine minutes per outing. She notched a career-best 10 points versus North Florida, connecting on 3-of-4 shots from the field in the win. She pulled down a career-best four rebounds against South Alabama. Prior to her semester with the Gators, Phillips earned four letters at Ridgeway High School in Memphis where she was coached for three years by Lisa Moore and one year by Tonya Currie. During her four-year career with the Roadrunners, Phillips tallied 2,222 points, 1,355 rebounds, 242 steals and 184 assists while shooting a steady 75.5 percent from the free throw line. She was named 2006 Class AAA Tennessee Miss Basketball, presented by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), helping Ridgeway to a 35-3 record and the state quarterfinals as a senior. Phillips was named to the 'Class AAA Best of the Preps' in 2005 and 2006 by the Commercial Appeal. She also picked up 2006 TSWA AAA State first team honors, 2006 TSSAA District 15 AAA Player of the Year, All District and All-Regionals MVP during her time at Ridgeway.

The Ole Miss guard trio of Ashley (Awkward), Alliesha (Easley) and Armintie (Price) have provided the Rebels will a steady dose on the offensive end of the court. The trio are the top three scorers for the Rebels and keep opponents on their toes with their balanced attack.

Ole Miss freshman guard Alliesha Easley is making her presence felt on the court. Easley, who has started all 31 contests for the Rebels, turned in a career-best 25 points in Ole Miss' 75-50 win over Illinois. She connected on 12-of-16 shots from the field, good for 75 percent. Easley also scored 24 points in a double-overtime loss to Rice and has scored in double figures in 18-of-28 games this season. She ranks third on the team in scoring with 11.0 points per game.

The Rebel defense has had a penchant for forcing their opponents to turn the ball over. While only turning the ball over 501 times themselves, Ole Miss has forced their opponents into 764 turnovers on the season, for an average of 24.6 blunders per game by their opponents. Ole Miss' tunover margin of +8.5 is the highest in the SEC. The Rebels have forced 169 turnovers in their last six games combined and have caused 30 or more by their opponents on six occasions this season, including two games with 40 or more turnovers.

Rebel senior guard Ashley Awkward had a standout game in Ole Miss' 76-57 win over South Carolina. The 5-6 Memphis native tallied 22 points, just one shy of her career high, after making 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. Her four made treys were also a career best. Awkward also hit all four of her foul shots and canned a first-half buzzer beater from long range in the game's most exciting play. Awkward has scored in double figures in the last 16 games.

Rebel freshman guard Shantell Black has found her way into the Ole Miss line-up by playing suffocating defense. Black, who head coach Carol Ross refers to as a ‘water bug', has made her presence felt by harrassing opposing point guards and making it difficult for them to run their respective offensive sets. Black has been credited for 45 steals on the season, but she has been instrumental in forcing many others.

Rebel freshman guard Bianca Thomas found her stroke in Ole Miss' last several games. Thomas turned in an SEC game career-best 17 points versus Alabama, while knocking down 7-of-11 shots, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Thomas was just one shy of her career high of 18 points she set versus Nicholls State in the Rebels final non-conference game. Thomas then had 10 points versus #3/3 Tennessee, while making 4-of-6 shots from the field, including 2-of-3 triples. She hit 1-of-3 from beyond the arc in helping Ole Miss defeat Mississippi State.

The Rebels have been scoring at an alarming pace as they are averaging 77.1 points per game this season, which ranks ninth in the NCAA. Ole Miss topped the century mark with their 104-63 win over Central Arkansas. The Rebels have also managed to score in the 90s in five games, including a 99-point performance at UAB and versus Fordham. Three players are averaging double figures with Armintie Price leading the way with 18.1 points per game, along with Ashley Awkward (12.2) and Alliesha Easley (11.0.)

Despite a slow start, Ole Miss eventually out-rebounded Rice 62-58 in their double-overtime loss to the Owls. The 62 rebounds were the most collected by an Ole Miss team since they pulled down 69 versus Grambling State on Dec. 16, 2004. Three Rebels rank in the top 20 in the SEC in rebouding, while five Rebels have posted double figures in rebounds this season. Sophomore Shawn Goff picked up a career-best 19 versus Rice and 12 in the opener versus Southeastern Louisiana. Senior guard Armintie Price pulled down 15 caroms in Ole Miss' win over Illinois, and senior forward Jada Mincy grabbed 15 versus Penn State. Junior Danetra Forrest tallied 13 at UAB and sophomore forward Brandi Tipton pulled down 10 versus Nicholls State. Ole Miss is averaging an SEC best 44.1 rebounds per game through 31 games.

Ole Miss senior forward Jada Mincy has been all over the boards as she ranks second on the team averaging 7.5 caroms per contest. Mincy has posted double digits in rebounding in 10 games this season. She pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds in Ole Miss' win over Florida, including eight on the offensive end. Mincy's 7.5 boards are ninth best in the SEC.

Ole Miss senior guard Armintie Price is being recognized by nearly all of the national awards as they opened their watch lists for the 2006-07 season. Recently, she was named to the Wooden Award National Ballot, which lists the top 16 players up for the award. Price has also been named to the Naismith Award Midseason Top 30, Senior CLASS Award and the Wade Watch. The 5-9 guard was also recognized by ESPN.com as one of the top five two guards in the NCAA and was selected by GBallMag.com as a preseason Second Team All-America. Price was unanimously voted to the preseason First Team All-SEC by the league coaches and was also selected for the same team a panel of media at the 2006 SEC Media Days. She was also honored as a preseason All-America and First Team All-SEC by Basketball Times.

Rebel sophomore center Shawn Goff picked up all-tournament honors for the first time in her Ole Miss career at the 2006 Junkanoo Jam after leading the Rebels with 26 points, 20 rebounds, five steals and four blocks in the two-game tournament.

In Ole Miss' first 31 games the Rebels have picked up 426 steals with all 14 players recording at least three steals. The Rebels rank third in the NCAA with 13.7 steals per game. Senior Armintie Price leads the way with 118 pilfers, which ranks her first in the NCAA. Price posted 12 steals in Ole Miss' win over Illinois, the top performance in the NCAA this season. Senior Ashley Awkward has picked up 60 steals and tied her career-high with six at UAB. Senior Jada Mincy, freshman Shantell Black, sophomore Shawn Goff and freshman Alliesha Easley, are also at 40+ with 46, 45, 45 and 41 steals, respectively.

Rebel junior guard-forward Carla Bartee has become a reliable sixth woman Ole Miss can count on. Bartee, who averages 13.4 minutes per game is averaging 5.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. She scored a seasons best 14 points in the Rebels win over Mississippi State, while also collecting six boards and two steals. The 6-1 Waynesboro native can play in the post or on the perimeter for the Rebels. Bartee has also been critical in two of Ole Miss' overtime wins. She scored 10 points in the overtime period versus Kentucky and had eight points in the second overtime period versus Arkansas, leading the Rebels to wins in both games.

OM Spirit Top Stories