Credit: Ole Miss Athletics
A physical battle ensued Thursday night from Memorial Gymnasium, with Ole Miss women’s basketball withstanding numerous blows from Vanderbilt to come out victorious, 67-61. Remaining on a scoring tear, Marquesha Davis posted her third consecutive 20-point game with a season-high 25 points against South Carolina.
Led by Davis, Ole Miss (16-5, 6-2 SEC) picked up back-to-back wins over Vanderbilt (17-5, 4-4 SEC) from Nashville for the first time in program history. Davis led the Rebels with 25 points, while Snudda Collins followed with 12 points. Collins now remains one made three away from cracking the top-five list at Ole Miss.
Playing aggressively off the glass, Tyia Singleton snagged a season-best 11 rebounds as the Rebels outrebounded the Commodores, 39-29. Kennedy Todd-Williams tied a season-best with two rejections, adding 10 points and dishing out two assists.
Davis continued her tear right to start scoring on the Rebels opening possession, while turning around defensively to force a shot clock violation with the ball in the Commodores hands for the first time. A 7-0 run provided Vanderbilt with an early edge while the Rebels worked to get in a groove. Struggling to reach the basket, Ole Miss remained within reach due to its ability of reaching the charity stripe, trailing by three at 12-9 through one.
Starting off the second quarter on a 8-2 tear, Ole Miss regrabbed its lead due to the shiftiness of Collins and Davis. Shooting at a 57.1% clip in the second, the Rebels continued to work on the inside to extend their lead. Vanderbilt remained within reach of Ole Miss due to draining five three’s in the first half, yet a layup from Davis within the waning seconds gave the Rebels a 30-29 lead at the break.
Facing a scoring drought early in the third, Davis kept the offense humming with nine points alone in the quarter. Joining in on the action, Todd-Williams added six points as Ole Miss remained ahead through three by restricting Vanderbilt from beyond the arc, 51-44.
The three ball allowed Vanderbilt to creep up on the Rebels, pulling within six at 56-50 with under eight to play. Utilizing the free throw line allowed Ole Miss to maintain its lead, while locking down Vanderbilt at the opposite end of the court. A Davis jumper pushed the advantage back to eight, yet the Commodores remained within striking distance. Scott’s protection around the rim prevented Vanderbilt from reaching the basket as a win for Ole Miss remained in sight. Hitting 11-of-12 shots from the line, in the fourth quarter allowed the Rebels to come away with a 67-61 win over the Commodores.
A tough test awaits as Ole Miss visits the nation’s top-ranked team in No. 1 South Carolina on Sunday (Feb. 4). The Rebels take their shot at the Gamecocks at 1 p.m. CT, airing on ESPN2.