OXFORD • Not all in the Ole Miss first five had the mindset Yolett McPhee-McCuin wanted early on Saturday afternoon.
When the Ole Miss coach tweaked her personnel the Rebels responded and rolled to a 93-66 win over Alabama State before 1,166 at The Pavilion.
The Rebels were falling behind in a halfcourt game before turning up the heat in their transition offense.
Ole Miss (7-6) trailed 19-11 with 8 minutes, 18 seconds left in the second quarter before closing the half on a 22-6 run to lead 33-25 at the break.
The difference was “putting my players in that wanted to run,” McPhee-McCuin said.
Eventually the Rebels would place six players in double figures, led by Deja Cage with 20 points on 8 for 13 shooting. She was 4 for 4 from 3-point range.
Ole Miss hit 12 of 20 3-point attempts and had 24 assists on 34 field goals.
Sophomore guard Mimi Reid had a double-double with 16 points, 10 assists and no turnovers.
It was Reid, though, who needed a little coaching up before the Rebels became more aggressive.
Speed it up
“I thought initially Mimi was really slowing us down and wanting to play in the halfcourt. There will be games that we need to do that, but any time we have an opportunity to get out in transition we really need to take advantage of that. That’s our best shot. The defense is not set, and we can make plays by getting paint touches,” McPhee-McCuin said.
McPhee-McCuin was not happy with rebounding as Alabama State (3-8) was plus-15 overall and plus-15 on the offensive glass.
All things considered she hopes the outburst on offense will carry over when the Rebels face Georgia on Thursday night.
“We needed a night like this,” she said. “We made good decisions. We shared the ball at a high level. We needed get out in transition, score and see what it felt like to play a fun brand of basketball again.”