EUGENE, Ore. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - No. 9 Oregon showed why it is one of the nation’s top teams, proving a difficult task for the Rebels in a 90-46 loss to the Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Ole Miss (9-2) was able to hold 2017 Elite Eight team Oregon (9-2) to a low 5-of-23 (.217) clip from the three-point line – a considerable feat considering the Ducks entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in three-point shooting at .436 – but the Ducks were in control the whole game, scoring 58 of their 90 points in the paint to offset their perimeter game.
The Rebels received double-digit performances out of juniors Barbara Johnson (11 points, career high) and Alissa Alston (10 points), but major scoring contributors Promise Taylor (five points, six rebounds, four blocks) and Madinah Muhammad (two points) were held in check by an Oregon defense that held Ole Miss to a season-low 24.5 percent shooting. Simultaneously, Oregon became the first Rebel opponent this year to hit 50 percent shooting in a game.
Additionally, the Ducks received a historic performance out of 2017 national Freshman of the Year, Sabrina Ionescu. After breaking the all-time freshman NCAA record for triple-doubles last year, Ionescu tied the all-time NCAA record with her seventh after a 21 point, 14 assist and 11 rebound outing. She is the first to record a triple-double against Ole Miss since Dec. 18, 2010 (Kaihla Szunko, at Central Michigan: 21 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists).
Oregon is the latest in a tough string of non-conference opponents for Ole Miss. The Ducks not only rank ninth nationally in both the AP and USA Today polls, but they also entered today ranked No. 17 in the latest NCAA RPI report. Oregon is the sixth Rebel opponent that currently ranks in the NCAA top-150, all coming in the last seven games (Oregon, 17; Troy, 59; Arkansas State, 87; South Alabama, 92; Temple, 113; Middle Tennessee, 117).
Ole Miss now looks for a rebound and hits the road north on I-5 for a tilt at Portland State on Tuesday (Dec. 19) at 10 p.m. CT.