Rebels accept bid to WNIT; Face Samford Thursday

By Ole Miss Media Relations

OXFORD – The Ole Miss women’s basketball team has accepted a bid to play in the WNIT and will travel to Birmingham, Ala., to take on Samford Thursday from the Pete Hanna Center.

Game time is yet to be determined.

The game will mark the first-ever meeting between Samford and Ole Miss on the hardwood.

The Rebels will compete in the postseason for the 22nd time in school history and will make their second straight WNIT appearance. Last season, Ole Miss reached the third round of the WNIT before falling to eventual champion USF in Tampa, Fla.

Ole Miss (17-14, 7-9) enters the postseason event having reaching the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament for the seventh straight season after knocking off South Carolina in the opening round of the 2010 tournament.

The Rebels were eliminated from the tournament by eventual champion and fourth-ranked Tennessee.

Samford enters the WNIT with a 22-10 overall record after falling 72-67 in the Southern Conference Tournament title game to Chattanooga.

The tournament marks the first-ever national postseason tournament berth for the Samford women’s basketball program, which is in its 13th season.

Ole Miss is led by All-America candidate Bianca Thomas, who paces the Rebels with 20.9 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game. An All-SEC first team selection, Thomas also ranks second in the conference with 3.1 three-pointers per game and set the single season school record with 95 and counting.

Junior guard Kayla Melson is second on the team with 12.3 points per game and leads the league with 5.8 assists per game.

Samford is led in scoring by junior guard Emily London, averaging 15.0 points per game. London ranks fifth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, making 47.0 percent of her attempts. London also ranks third in the nation in free throw percentage and makes 90.5 percent of her attempts from the line.

Should Ole Miss advance, the Rebels would face the winner of the Missouri State-Oral Roberts game, which is slated for Friday evening.