Coach Yo leads Rebels to 11th straight win

MISSISSIPPI head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin calls to players in the first half of an NCAA women’s basketball game against Samford on Friday, December 17. 
(AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

MISSISSIPPI head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin calls to players in the first half of an NCAA women’s basketball game against Samford on Friday, December 17. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

COACH Yolett McPhee- McCuin’s Ole Miss Rebels are one of the hottest teams in all of NCAA Division I basketball and streaked to their 11th straight win.

The Rebels defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders 65-50 Monday afternoon at the West Palm Beach Invitational in West Palm Beach, Florida.

McPhee-McCuin has led the Rebels to their longest win streak in two decades. They last won 11 straight games in the 2000-01 season, the third longest streak in programme history.

“Definitely grateful for another win,” McPhee- McCuin said. “We started off slow. The gameplan for them was to stop [Shakira Austin], and open the floor up for our wings, so I had to get wings that were looking for their shot and wanted to be aggressive. That was something that was important for us. I told the team afterward that I feel like any team that thinks that they can just triple-team Kira and not have to guard anybody else it’s just disrespectful of everybody else on the team, and so they have to take pride in knocking down those shots.”

Defensively, Ole Miss has held nine of its last 11 opponents to 50 points or below. The Rebels are ranked atop the SEC and No. 7 in the NCAA at 49.2 points allowed per game.

The Rebels were upset in a season-opening loss to the Belmont Bruins on November 11, but have been undefeated ever since and became one of just three teams in NCAA Division I with 11 straight wins.

Ole Miss will complete its non-conference schedule today and looks to extend its win streak with a matchup against the No.16 South Florida Bulls.

This will be the first matchup in programme history for the two schools on Tuesday.

The Bulls are coming off an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season.

Earlier in the season, the Bulls played four ranked teams over a five-game stretch and got two wins in the Bahamas. At the Baha Mar Hoops’ Pink Flamingo Championship, the Bulls defeated the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal and the No.9 Oregon Ducks.

“I am very familiar with South Florida,” McPhee- McCuin said. “They run a lot of actions, they’re going to try and make us play their pace, so we’re gonna have to be extremely disciplined. They’re gonna pack the paint on us and make us make shots, and then they shoot the three at a high clip and they rebound the ball very well. I’m very comfortable with this matchup, but it will be a challenge for this group because of how they play. We’re gonna have to really lock-in defensively and take away the three-ball or it’s gonna be a long night.”

The Rebels are scheduled to open play in the Southeastern Conference against the Arkansas Razorbacks on December 30.

Rebels are expected to improve in one of the most keenly contested conferences in all of NCAA Division I.

The Rebels were listed at No.6 in the SEC Preseason Coaches Poll, the highest projection in programme history since the conference began the practice in 2007-08.

Ole Miss was also picked to finish eighth in the SEC Preseason Media Poll last week, its best in that poll since 2015-16.

Last year, the Rebels finished the season 15-12, for their first winning season since 2016-17. After an 11-11 regular season, 4-10 in the SEC, they advanced to the first SEC Quarterfinal since 2004. Their résumé included three wins against ranked teams and four Top-50 NET wins. They eventually fell to Rice in the WNIT title game.

Ole Miss recently signed McPhee-McCuin to a new four-year contract extension that runs through 2025.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment