n Ole Miss, South Florida meeting in third-round game tonight in Tampa.
By Parrish Alford
The state’s last Division I basketball team standing is back in action tonight.
The Ole Miss women’s basketball team meets South Florida in a WNIT third-round game at USF’s Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
Ole Miss (18-14) advanced with an 87-49 win over Murray State Sunday afternoon in Oxford.
South Florida (23-10) defeated Florida Gulf Coast 88-81 in overtime in the second round. The Bulls were 22-10, 8-8 in the Big East Conference in the regular season. They’ve won five of their last six games, the only loss in that span a 79-42 defeat against No. 1 UConn in the second round of the Big East Tournament.
USF is the nation’s fifth-ranked team in scoring offense (78.0 points). Averaging 61.5 points, Ole Miss was ranked No. 7 in the SEC in scoring defense.
Ole Miss and USF both received first-round byes in the WNIT.
South Florida features four players scoring in double figures, led by All Big East point guard Shantia Grace with 14.5 points and 4.6 assists per game.
Junior guard Bianca Thomas, a finalist for the Gillom Trophy for the state’s top player (named after her assistant coach, Peggie Gilliom-Granderson), leads the Rebels with 15.8 points a game.
Senior center Shawn Goff had 21 points and 14 rebounds against Murray State. She needs six rebounds to reach 700 for her career.
The Rebels are 8-5 all-time against Big East schools. Tonight’s game will be the Rebels’ first Big East opponent since losing 89-84 in triple overtime at Rutgers in 2006.