Renee Ladner said her players were successful Friday evening because they took what they'd done in practice into the game for an 80-42 win against Southeastern Louisiana to open the season.
"What I really liked about tonight's game was we took a scouting report and we followed it," Ladner said. "This team averages 22 3s a game and last year they dropped 16 3s on us. I believe the reason the score was the way it was is because our players followed the scouting report and did exactly what they were asked."
Bianco Thomas, who led Ole Miss with 22 points, agreed.
"This was a great opening win for us," Thomas said. "We followed the gameplan. There were some deficiencies in some areas, but we had some strengths as well."
The Rebels limited the Lions to three made 3-pointers on 21 attempts. Ole Miss, meanwhile, was 10-for-24 from behind the arc.
"It was the first game and we're glad to get a win under our belt," said the third-year head coach of the Rebels. "I thought we had some really good moments. I thought our defense was outstanding. I thought that was the reason we had opportunities to score. In the first half they had about four shot-clock violations. That really gave us momentum on the offensive end of the floor. You knock it down and you go down and get a stop, go back downcourt and good things happen. "
The Rebels led 25-6 midway through the first half and 45-18 at halftime. Ladner said the fast start was also key.
"You feel good about that," she said. "You never know what you're going to get until you get on that floor. What I'm looking for is a solid 11 players with good effort and an understanding of what we're trying to do. That isn't always the case, but we're getting better."
The first game was a script they should follow the rest of the season.
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