HARTFORD, Conn. -- Armintie Price and her Mississippi teammates pressed TCU right out of the NCAA Tournament.
Price scored 21 points and these running Rebels scored 39 points off 23 turnovers, beating TCU 88-74 Sunday in the first round of the Dayton Regional.Mississippi (22-10) won in the NCAAs for the first time since 1994, posting its highest-scoring game ever in the tournament, and advance to face defending champs Maryland in the next round.After losing five of their last six games, including a 52-46 defeat to LSU in the SEC tournament, the Rebels came out with a full-court trap. They finished with 12 steals, and used their defense to pull away late in the first half."What you saw on the court is really who we are," coach Carol Ross said. "Defensively we scrap around and we try to make plays. We're not very big, but we're quick so we rebound the ball quickly and we force turnovers."The Rebels scored nine of the last 11 points before the break to take a 40-32 lead. Ole Miss built that to 50-34 early in the second half before TCU's Ashley Davis hit a 3-pointer to end the 19-4 run.Price also had seven rebounds and six assists. Alliesha Easley added 14 points for seventh-seeded Mississippi, which had five players score in double figures.Davis had 24 points and 12 rebounds for 10th-seeded TCU (21-11). Hanna Biernacka added 20 points and nine rebounds.Down 71-51, the Frogs used a press of their own to close within nine points with 3:30 remaining. That was as close as they got.Price said after Ole Miss missed the NCAA Tournament last year, the Rebels were not about to go out early."I am trying to just have great expectations," she said. "Trying to go for it and keep our heads up through adversity. Obviously, we had some last year, but this year the seniors ... are making sure it won't happen again by keeping a winning mindset."Adrianne Ross, the Mountain West's co-player of the year, was double-teamed almost every time she touched the ball. She hit just 1-of-7 shots in the first half and finished with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting."There was a point when we stopped turning it over and we were making good points, and then we were trading baskets with them," she said. "We just couldn't get them stopped and they did really well in transition."Davis had seven early points as the Frogs jumped out to a 13-9 lead. The game was tied seven times and had five lead changes, but Price put Ole Miss up for good, 25-24 with over eight minutes to go in the first half.Ole Miss outrebounded TCU by 11 and scored 25 second-chance points, while holding the Frogs to just six.The Frogs had advanced to the second round of the NCAAs in five of the last six seasons.