Collins, Ole Miss win at No. 17 Kentucky

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo
·2 min read

Feb. 28—LEXINGTON, Ky. — Snudda Collins went 3 for 6 from 3-point range, none bigger than her last shot.

The Brookhaven freshman unfolded her right arm and dropped a 3 from the left corner Sunday to propel the Ole Miss women's basketball team to a 73-69 win at No. 17 Kentucky.

It was the second win against a ranked opponent for the Ole Miss women — both against Kentucky — who finish the regular season 10-10 overall, 4-10 in SEC play. It's the most conference wins for Ole Miss since 2017.

Ole Miss began the day with an NCAA Net ranking of 48.

Rebels coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin feels good about her team's chances for at least a Women's NIT bid, an NCAA bid if things break right in Greenville at the SEC women's tournament later this week. She's enjoyed seeing her team grow into one capable of closing games in the final minutes.

"It's a beautiful thing. It's like raising a child. It's painful and beautiful at the same time," she said.

Collins' 3-pointer with 1 minute, 7 seconds left gave the Rebels a two-possession lead and forced Kentucky to foul.

"We've been putting confidence into her in practice," Ole Miss center Shakira Austin said. "She hasn't been hitting very much the past few games. Just being a shooter, once you see one go in ... we all knew she was going to be back today."

The Rebels were up to the free throw challenge as four different players combined to go 10 for 10 after the big 3 by Collins.

Austin led Ole Miss with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Donnetta Johnson and freshman Madison Scott each had 10. Scott added eight rebounds.

Collins finished with nine points. She was 0 for 3 in the first half.

The win may have lifted the Rebels out of the first-days play at this week's SEC Tournament. Ole Miss needed Alabama to defeat Florida later Sunday to climb in the standings.

The Rebels absorbed 18 turnovers by playing its own stifling defense and limited the Wildcats to 31.6 percent shooting.

The win gave Ole Miss a season sweep of Kentucky which was ranked No. 14 when the Rebels won 72-60 in Oxford on Feb. 4.

Collins was 0 for 3 from 3-point range in the second half. She's a 41.3 percent 3-point shooter on the season.

"We've been riding Shakira's back for a while. It was good for her to have some help from our big four, and Snudda decided to join the party," McPhee-McCuin said.