Senior Shawn Goff tied a career-high with six blocks and Ole Miss used a 12-2 run in the opening minutes, to catapult the Lady Rebels to a 63-40 win over Alcorn State Monday night at Tad Smith Coliseum.
"I'm always amazed because, as a coach, you never know what's coming out on the floor," said Ole Miss head coach Renee Ladner. "We didn't play very well. Although there were some good things, we're still a work in progress. We're not there yet, but it was still a win."
Junior guard Elizabeth Robertson got the scoring started by dialing long-distance and sparking a 7-0 run to start the game. Ole Miss never relinquished the lead, extending the point advantage by 10 inside the 13-minute mark.
Through a combination of stifling defense and timely baskets on the opposite end, the Lady Rebels kept the score at a safe distance, despite the Lady Braves' best attempts to keep it interesting early.
Alcorn State cut the lead to seven at 14-7, but the Lady Rebels continued with their offensive pressure, using a 13-1 run to push their advantage to 27-8. The scoring wouldn't stop there, as Ole Miss would push ahead 34-15 as the half came to a close.
Junior Bianca Thomas paced the team with seven points, with Robertson adding six in the first. Both forward Nikki Byrd and guard LaKendra Phillips added five in the effort.
The Rebs dominated the rebounding category, leading 20-9 at the break.
"We're about defensive pressure and rebounding the basketball," Ladner said. "We did a pretty good job of that tonight."
The onslaught continued in the second, with the Red and Blue using a 15-4 run to cease any hope of a Lady Brave comeback. Ole Miss would lead by as much as 30 in the contest, with Goff contributing strong work in the paint. Goff had 15 points and nine rebounds on the night.
Both teams picked up the tempo on both ends, but the Rebels efforts were greater. Junior Shantell Black picked up three steals, while Goff blocked the second most shots in school history (6). Tonight marked the second time in her career that she finished with as many rejections
"Shawn Goff is back," Ladner continued. "We tried to give her a lot of minutes to get her back in a rhythm. Anytime you're out for an extended period of time, you lose confidence. But she was back and better tonight."
Ole Miss shot 38.3 percent on the game. The Lady Rebels continued their dominance on the boards, finishing the game with a 54-33 advantage.
But despite the blowout, Ladner has seen a disturbing trend with the Rebels as of late. Ole Miss committed 25 turnovers for the game.
"I'm hoping (the turnovers) are just something that's going to pass," she allowed. "Tonight they were self-inflicted. We're going to have to take it up a notch in practice. We have to get better in that area."
The game marked the third time this season that the Rebs have held a team to 50 points or less. The Lady Rebels are 112-0 all-time in such games.
Ole Miss returns to action Saturday against Nicholls State at 3:30 p.m.
Lady Rebels Defeat Alcorn State 63-40
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