Out with a Bang

Totaling 21 points and 14 rebounds against Murray State, senior Shawn Goff saved one of her best performances of the season for possibly her last game inside Tad Smith Coliseum. Read about it inside

Every senior dreams of the storybook ending.

May it be the fabled buzzer beater or a runaway victory at home, players wish for their day in the sun, as those moments can be defining for one's career.

With her 21 points and 14 rebounds in an 87-49 blowout of Murray State, Shawn Goff's home finale couldn't have gone much better.

"She played under control," said Ole Miss head coach Renee Ladner. "It's like she's coming into her own. I'm very proud of her for that. She struggled somewhat throughout the course of the season, but came in and played very confident."

While some might clamor after such a fine performance, Goff was quick to shift praise to her teammates.

"We practiced so hard for two weeks to get ready for the game," she said. "We were ready to play. We looked over them and we knew what they were going to do. We knew they had really good shooters, but we just came out exceptional (Sunday)."

If ever a player were to be described as humble, it would be Goff, who goes about her business in the most professional of manners.

Though she'd rather not admit it, such a performance in her final game at Tad Smith Coliseum was meaningful.

"It's surprising, because I didn't think the game would end up like that," said Goff. "It's all about execution. We ran through our offenses and we were patient. Usually we try to rush things even when we're up. But we stayed patient and our guards did well handling the ball. We executed and finished."

Goff entered the WNIT having played in 123 games for the Rebels, while starting the last 56. She currently ranks eighth in the SEC in scoring at 13.7 points per game and ninth in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game.

During her four years in Red and Blue, Goff has scored 1,141 points and grabbed 680 rebounds. Earlier this year, she became just the 22nd player in school history to score over 1,000 career points and currently ranks 19th all-time at Ole Miss in scoring.

She's had a decorated career to say the least.

"She's the most unselfish star I've ever seen," Ladner said. "You wouldn't know it, but she's set records this year without ever asking for the ball. She tries to be a role player, but she's really a star for our team."

While she's had her ups-and-downs this season, Goff was still named All-SEC by the Associated Press for the second straight season.

She became Ole Miss' career record holder for blocked shots (207) earlier this season and is on pace to break her own record for blocks in a single year (67).

Currently with 59, Goff only needs nine to rewrite history once again.

But it's how she's carried herself off the floor that has drawn praise from her head coach.

"She's one of the nicest kids anybody would ever want to be around," said Ladner. "It's been a treasure to be able to coach her. She's a phenomenal young woman. If you wanted your child to grow up like anybody, you'd want them to grow up like Shawn Goff."

Although another chapter has been written in her illustrious career, there is still plenty left to this story.

Goff and the Rebels will now shift focus to Thursday, as Ole Miss visits South Florida at 7 p.m.

While all attention will be centered on yet another tournament game to be played, Sunday's ending will be one for reflection in years to come.

"I was hitting my shots and my teammates kept going to me," she said. "It's always good to play hard and finish like that – especially when it's your last game at home."

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