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: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
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Tate342486
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Pike3371111
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Scott320374
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Stone188433
Clay187954
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Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
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Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
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Houston10781287
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Limestone10179157
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Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
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Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
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Henry194543
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Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
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