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Ole Miss women hang on in thrilling double-overtime win over Florida

Ole Miss entered with the 10th-longest active OT drought in the NCAA at 96 games.

Posted: Jan 7, 2018 7:39 PM

OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - They might have struggled for most of the game, but when it mattered, juniors Alissa Alston and Madinah Muhammad put the team on their shoulders and helped lead the Rebels to a wild 78-75 double-overtime victory over Florida on Sunday afternoon at The Pavilion.

Ole Miss (11-5, 1-2 SEC) had led for 36 minutes of regulation and had a 15-point lead at the 5:37 mark of the third quarter, but Florida (8-8, 0-3 SEC) chipped away at that Rebel advantage until the final seconds of the fourth quarter – setting up a tumultuous ride throughout both overtime periods.

“Great win for us,” said Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell. “It obviously had a lot of ups and downs. That game, for us, was won and lost about 10 or 11 times, but our kids just kept battling. I’m real proud of them.”

Season leading scorers Alissa Alston (14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals) and Madinah Muhammad (11 points, nine assists) had been held to just 10 combined points in the first half and 14 combined by the end of regulation, but it was the Rebel bench that stepped up and gave Ole Miss its lead during regulation. The Rebels dominated the Gators in bench points at a 39-5 margin – with 36 coming from key reserves Promise Taylor (16 points, eight rebounds, three assists), Torri Lewis (12 points, 4-of-10 3PT) and Kate Rodgers (eight points, nine rebounds).

That bench scoring (and timely, rally-starting three-pointers by Lewis) helped Ole Miss to a 31-21 lead at halftime and a 49-39 lead after the third quarter, but the Gators came storming back with a 22-12 fourth to force overtime.

In the fourth, Florida shot 50 percent from the floor and put together a 7-0 run to cut the lead to one at 51-50 with 5:15 left to play. The Rebels responded down the stretch, but the Gators had an answer each time – eventually tying the game at the buzzer on a put-back layup by Dyandria Anderson (12 points, six rebounds) after a missed three-pointer for the win by Paulina Hersler (12 points, 11 rebounds).

It was overtime where Alston and Muhammad began to shine, with both combining for 11 total in both periods. The first overtime was the Alissa Alston show, during which she scored six points and a game-tying layup as time expired to force a second overtime.

Muhammad, meanwhile, took over the second overtime. She nailed a layup at the 1:21 mark to give Ole Miss a 74-72 lead, but Florida answered once again with a dagger three from leading scorer Haley Lorenzen (19 points, 10 rebounds) with 57 seconds to play.

The Rebels chipped away, though, sending Muhammad to the line four times in the final three seconds of play, where she knocked down all four to give Ole Miss the 78-75 victory.

“She struggled offensively for a majority of the night, but she found a way to get going there at the end and made some huge free throws,” Insell said.

Shooting wasn’t a specialty on the day, with both teams shooting a combined 55-of-150 (36.7 percent) from the floor and 18-of-68 (26.5 percent) from three, but timely shooting was on display for both teams – culminating in the clutch layup by Alston to force double-overtime and the free throws down the stretch by Muhammad.

“We had to be the more desperate team to get a win, and we were the more desperate team there,” Insell said.

With their first SEC win now under their belts, the Rebels face a tough test at rival No. 3/5 Mississippi State on Thurs., Jan. 11.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 514171

Reported Deaths: 10285
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34920557
DeSoto33270432
Hinds32652642
Jackson24876391
Rankin22516404
Lee16366245
Madison14932283
Jones14129247
Forrest13785260
Lauderdale12279324
Lowndes11314193
Lamar10663140
Pearl River9720244
Lafayette8855143
Hancock7839132
Washington7553169
Oktibbeha7216138
Monroe7036179
Pontotoc7003109
Warren6872178
Panola6768135
Neshoba6732210
Marshall6686142
Bolivar6451151
Union640898
Pike5933156
Alcorn5887107
Lincoln5533136
George510380
Prentiss505385
Tippah492783
Itawamba4857107
Scott478199
Adams4771125
Tate4765117
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Copiah457095
Yazoo456692
Simpson4554117
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Coahoma4238109
Leake414090
Newton395782
Tishomingo384894
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Stone365766
Jasper340866
Attala338790
Winston317892
Chickasaw316167
Clay312578
Clarke301295
Calhoun285949
Holmes271889
Smith269452
Yalobusha244247
Tallahatchie232053
Greene224749
Walthall221866
Lawrence219141
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster206248
Noxubee188743
Montgomery181857
Carroll174941
Jefferson Davis173843
Tunica163339
Benton153139
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134439
Humphreys132139
Franklin126029
Quitman107628
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845761

Reported Deaths: 16119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161862004
Mobile742411381
Madison53315732
Shelby38351369
Baldwin38104589
Tuscaloosa36052641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25590263
Calhoun22598518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20026518
Marshall18790316
Houston17741425
St. Clair16904358
Limestone16153219
Cullman16067303
Elmore15912294
Lauderdale14991306
Talladega14209299
DeKalb12985269
Walker12067380
Blount10729192
Autauga10526157
Jackson10170194
Coffee9425192
Colbert9341208
Dale9024192
Tallapoosa7273201
Russell708865
Chilton7042170
Escambia6956143
Covington6943195
Franklin6338108
Chambers5785142
Marion5413130
Dallas5295209
Pike5123109
Clarke484886
Lawrence4831129
Winston4780110
Geneva4643136
Bibb434594
Barbour369980
Butler3439100
Marengo342393
Monroe337466
Randolph334867
Pickens333988
Fayette330085
Henry320766
Hale318489
Cherokee318363
Crenshaw260777
Washington256952
Cleburne254560
Lamar251953
Clay251169
Macon245064
Conecuh193162
Coosa185547
Lowndes178268
Wilcox177638
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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