Ole Miss women’s basketball returns to AP Top 25 after 15-year hiatus

Published 1:22 pm Monday, January 24, 2022

The Ole Miss women’s basketball team cracked the AP Top-25 poll on Monday for the first time since 2007, ending a 15-year absence from the rankings.

The Rebels (17-2, 5-1 SEC) broke into the rankings at No. 24 after knocking off then-No. 23 Kentucky on  Sunday, their second win over a ranked opponent this season. They are 6-0 on the road this season and have already won more conference games than they did in each of the previous four seasons.

“It means a lot for the program,” said head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin in a statement released on social media. “I think for the university and the trajectory of where we’re trying to go, it’s a lot for recruitment. It means something… It’s going to be pretty cool for our university, our program and our fan base.”

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Ole Miss has sat just outside the rankings for the past month, unable to break into the top 25 despite a blazing start to conference play. The Rebels have lost just one game in the last 70 days, a 70-58 defeat at the hands of No. 4 Tennessee.

“I’m very pleased and happy that we may finally get that recognition,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I want to give all the credit to our players. They have earned it, and they have been working tirelessly. Honestly, I’ve always felt like we were one of the top teams in the country. I don’t know that I need the AP poll to tell me that.”

Coach Yo’s squad is finally starting to get the recognition they deserve, but they face a tough task this week when they travel to Columbia to take on No. 1 South Carolina. The Rebels were originally scheduled to face the Gamecocks on Jan. 2, but the game was postponed due to COVID issues within the Ole Miss program.