Lady Rebels Roll Against Nicholls State

Ole Miss used a 15-0 run to open the second half to blow past Nicholls State 83-32 Saturday. Read about it inside

Senior Shawn Goff scored 14 points, blocked four shots and added five steals as Ole Miss rolled over Nicholls State 83-32 Saturday inside Tad Smith Coliseum.

Ole Miss set a school-record for fewest points allowed (32) to extend their winning streak to six.

"Glad to get this game under our belts," said head coach Renee Ladner. "We were in holiday mode in the first half and changed gears in the second half. I was real pleased with our effort in the second half. We have to be able to sustain that for forty minutes."

The Lady Rebels jumped off to a quick start, using entry passes to the post for easy baskets. With a considerable size advantage down low, Goff and her running mates won the rebounding battle easily in the first, grabbing 22 boards compared to 13 for their counterparts.

Goff scored the game's first six points and helped the ladies extend their lead throughout the early period. The Lady Colonels fought to stay within striking distance, but with the Rebels leading 27-15, junior guard Shantell Black put up a two-point basket that sparked six-consecutive points.

As the half came to a close, Ole Miss led 35-18.

A 15-0 run to start the second pushed the score to 50-18, ending any doubt of the outcome. Ole Miss used intense zone pressure to create turnovers and capitalized on the opposite end, with freshman Nikki Byrd scoring six points in the run to lead the team.

Up 66-28, Ole Miss kept with the pressure and wouldn't stop running, reeling off 10-straight points. The Lady Rebels would lead by as much as 53, outscoring Nicholls 48-14 in the period.

"We changed defenses in the second half," Ladner continued. "Our intensity wasn't there in the first, but we came back in the second and started the way I would have liked to start the game. Our runs were predicated by the defense. We set some goals for deflections and limiting turnovers and we met most of those."

Alliesha Easley was the second-leading scorer on the night, adding 11 points and five rebounds in the effort. Freshman Nikki Byrd aided with eight points and seven rebounds. Ole Miss shot 49.3 percent and continued their dominance on the boards, finishing the game with a 52-30 advantage.

They also cut down on the turnovers (16) after coughing up the ball 25 times versus Alcorn State.

"Turnovers have been a point of emphasis," Ladner said. "The ball is precious. We can't turn the ball over. I think we made an important point. We set a goal to have only seven turnovers per half. We finished with 16 on the game, so we'll run for those this week."

Ole Miss has now held four of its six opponents this season under 50 points or less. The 32 points allowed were the fewest since holding UT-Arlington to 36 in 1994.

It was just the third meeting between the schools. The Rebels are 3-0 against Nicholls State in the all-time series that dates back to the 2005-06 season. In the two meetings prior to Saturday, Ole Miss had beaten the Lady Colonels by an average margin of 41.0 points per game.

Ole Miss returns to action Thursday against Southeastern Louisiana at 11:00 a.m.

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