Lady Rebels get second straight SEC win

Melson was one of 3 Lady Rebs with 14

When Elizabeth Robertson made a 3-point basket with a minute and a half left, it wasn't exactly the shot her head coach, Renee Ladner, was looking for. But it went in, so she gladly took it.

"I'm not sure that's the shot I really wanted her to take," said Ladner, smiling since her Ole Miss team won 74-61 over visiting South Carolina. "But it's all good when the ball goes in. I am happy, however, she felt confident enough to step up and shoot the shot. When she released it, I knew it was going in."

Ole Miss needed it, too. The Lady Rebels were only up 64-61 after leading by as many as 19 points at 52-33 in the second half on another Robertson 3-point basket with 14:15 left. But the Lady Gamecocks had fought all the way back to trail by only three points. Two free throws by USC's Brionna Dickerson had given her team a shot to win, down just 64-61 moments before Robertson's big trey.

But South Carolina would score no more in this one, and head coach Susan Walvius said the Lady Rebs were too much for her team on this day.

"I thought Mississippi really played well today and shot the ball well in critical situations," she said. "That's when it counts. They stepped up and made some big plays and finished the game. They didn't fold even when we made a run at them late."

South Carolina had jumped out to an early lead at 13-6, but the Lady Rebs scored 11 straight points to go up 17-13 and never trailed again. UM led 39-27 at halftime.

"I was a bit surprised by that," said Ladner of the fast start by the Lady Gamecocks. "They came in here with a sense of urgency looking for that first SEC win. I was surprised we allowed that. I thought our kids were really prepared and up for the game."

But as the game moved on, the Lady Rebs indeed proved they were prepared. Balanced scoring also was big for Ole Miss, which placed five players in double figures - Robertson with 14, Shawn Goff with 14, Kayla Melson with 14, Bianca Thomas with 13, and Danetra Forrest with 11.

South Carolina, now 11-7 overall and 0-3 in the SEC, was paced by Jordan Jones with 18 and Demetress Adams with 13.

Ladner's team, 8-8 and 2-1, had beaten Arkansas 63-55 in its most recent outing, also at home, and followed that up with Sunday's victory.

"Our kids are learning to adjust to every situation," Ladner said. "It hasn't always been easy for us. You also have to learn how to handle winning."

After two wins in a row, the Lady Rebels are certainly getting more experience at that.

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