McPhee-McCuin and Rebels fall to Gators 67-54 in opening round of SEC tournament

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

YOLETT McPhee-McCuin’s first season as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels’ women’s basketball programme came to an end early in the postseason.

The Rebels fell to the Florida Gators 67-54 in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Greenville, South Carolina.

“Obviously a disappointing loss. Nobody wants to go home on the first day, but I am well aware that someone has to and it just happened to be us.” McPhee-McCuin said.

“I really enjoyed this team. I thought that they represented the university at a high level. I gave them all that I had, and so did my staff. I am just excited about the future.”

Ole Miss will lose three seniors from this year’s team, but that future includes Bahamian national team standout Valerie Nesbitt.

Nesbitt, a sophomore at Chipola College, committed to join the Rebels for the fall 2019 campaign.

She averaged 17.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game this season. They concluded the regular season with a 75-74 upset at No. 3 Gulf Coast State when Nesbitt finished with 30 points, including the game winner.

As a freshman, Nesbitt was named a Panhandle Conference first team selection.

The Rebels finished 9-22, 3-13 in conference play. The season was highlighted by the first ranked road win for the Rebels since 2011 when Ole Miss defeated the Kentucky Wildcats for the first time since 2007.

“When I got this gig, I had two players that were healthy and that was it,” McPhee-McCuin said. “And then I hired a staff and put a team together and we got our last player in September. And they picked us last and we didn’t finish last, and we even knocked off a ranked team and did some incredible things. The future is bright. Our kids gave all they had and the staff definitely did and I am looking forward to the future.”