Lady Rebs revive long-range touch

The clanks and clangs during the difficult three-game losing streak seemed endless to the Lady Rebels. The long-distance shots were sent up with hope before falling to nothing more than the cruel sound effects of ball meeting rim.

Ole Miss traveled to Starkville two Thursdays ago as the top 3-point shooting team in the SEC. They left with the beginnings of a disastrous cold streak that not even Eskimos would envy. The Lady Rebels failed to connect against the Lady Bulldogs nor Vanderbilt three days later. A combined 24 treys hoisted, 24 treys missed.

The avalanche finally subsided versus Tennessee when Elizabeth Robertson broke the spell with a shot from the wing with just more than ten minutes remaining. The Lady Rebels had added seven more misses to the previous total before the sophomore's make, but Robertson's shot set up something.

"Just finally hitting one was big for everybody's confidence," Robertson said. "We were shooting it better than the rest of the conference, so that was what is frustrating. Knowing you can do it but being a little off."

The Lady Rebels added another successful shot toward the end of the game, but the added confidence wasn't truly realized until Sunday against Alabama.

Bianca Thomas and Carla Bartee both sunk long-range shots to increase early leads, but it was Robertson, who again banged home the biggest baskets.

Alabama cut a comfortable Ole Miss lead of 13 down to four late in the first half. The Rebels had put up a few questionable shots and begun to reel a little against the turnover-happy opponent, but the momentum would quickly move for good back in Ole Miss' good graces.

Robertson set up just beyond the arc on the ensuing possession and hit nothing but the very bottom of the net to push the lead back to seven. Moments later after both teams traded turnovers, Robertson set up once more. Same shot, same result. The advantage was ten and would dip into single digits just once more.

"She has a tendency to hit two big shots back-to-back when we need it the most," Renee Ladner said of Robertson. "I love that out of a shooter. You have to be unconscious. In the past few games, she has tried to guide it in. We challenged them to put more time in. The more you shoot, the luckier you get. There is a direct correlation. She hit them when they were big."

In fact, the entire team did. The Rebels went 8-18 from outside for a 44 percent clip and have gained the trust back in that area of the offense with two road games looming.

"Absolutely (good to see), it is always good to see that," Robertson said. "It has been a tremendous struggle during the last couple games in that aspect. We have tried to focus in and work. It is good to see those numbers up again."

Ladner said practice wasn't focused around fixing the issue, but it is nonetheless a welcome sight for the team that was doing it better than everyone else in the conference. And hopefully will continue now that the short-term setback has been broken.

"I think I was rushing it a little bit and trying too hard," Robertson said. "As weird as that is, you can't think about it too much. Today I just relaxed and let it go."

And unlike the anomaly that occurred for three games and nearly 120 minutes, it went in after being let go.

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