8-seed Rebels score stunning upset of 1-seed Stanford
STANFORD, Calif. - From the jump, eighth seeded Ole Miss came to play against one seeded Stanford on Sunday night from the Maples Pavilion in a down to the wire victory to knock off the Cardinal, 54-49. Ole Miss knocked off the top ranked Cardinal to advance to its 11th Sweet Sixteen in program history and earned its first win against a No. 1 seed in seven tries. Ole Miss (25-8, 11-5 SEC) feared none and shut down one of the nation's best rebounding teams in Stanford (29-6, 15-3 PAC-12), to advance to its first Sweet Sixteen since 2007. The Rebels outrebounded the Cardinal, 44 to 39 and grabbed 20 offensive rebounds.
In another super team effort, three Rebels finished in double-digits while shooting at a 45 percent clip from beyond the arc. Angel Baker continues to prove why she's one of the top guards in the country, leading the Rebels with 13 points and also grabbed four rebounds. Joining Davis in double-figures was also Marquesha Davis with 12 points for her 18th double-figure game this season, while also snagging five steals. Cleaning up off the glass, was Rita Igbokwe with a team-high eight rebounds.
Hot from deep, was freshman Ayanna Thompson with a career-high three triples for a total of nine points on the night. Myah Taylor was also a defensive force, with six rebounds, three steals and one block. As a team, Ole Miss swatted away six Cardinal shots.
Back-to-back buckets from Baker and Scott to put Ole Miss in motion to start the night. The Cardinal quickly shut Ole Miss down for over two minutes to even up the score early on. Ole Miss grabbed a six-point lead at 16-10 off of a Thompson trey with three minutes remaining in the first frame. A smooth jumper from Collins gave Ole Miss an 18-13 cushion through one.
The Rebels remained strong from beyond the arc, utilizing the three ball to extend their lead by six off of another Thompson triple at 26-20. Both Ole Miss and Stanford entered a shooting slump, while the Cardinal also struggled to hold onto the ball with 12 turnovers in the first half. A 6-0 Ole Miss run allowed it to build its lead and force Stanford to head to the locker room trailing for the first time at home this season, 29-20.
Refusing to let Stanford reach the basket due to its pesky defensive efforts, Ole Miss refused to let the Cardinal score easily in limiting them to yet another multi-minute long scoring drought. Davis kept the offense flowing, with seven points in the third quarter. Stanford pieced together a 6-0 run to come within seven at 38-31 with 2 minutes remaining in the third and holding at seven heading into the final 10 minutes.
Stanford's All-American Cameron Brink strung together a run to make it a one possession game with Ole Miss leading 44-41 inn the opening minutes of the fourth. Baker proved to be a true bucket, hitting shots for Ole Miss to cement its lead, yet Stanford wasn't ready to go away just yet. Eight straight points from the Cardinal evened the game up for the first time since the first quarter with the clock dwindling down. Scott hit back-to-back free throws, while Davis followed up with two of her own to grow the Rebel lead by four. It was Taylor sealing the win for Ole Miss with a season defining steal followed by a made free throw to give the Rebels the win 54-49 and a trip to Seattle for the Sweet Sixteen.
The Rebels await their opponent and will face the winner of Louisville versus Texas in the Sweet Sixteen on Friday (March 24) at Climate Pledge Arena.