Four Rebels finished in double digits, but it was not enough as Ole Miss (10-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) dropped a close 75-71 contest to the visiting LSU Tigers (13-3, 2-1 SEC) Wednesday night in Oxford.
Senior forward M.J. Rhett had a career-high 15 points and led all scorers for the Rebels. Guards Stefan Moody and Jarvis Summers contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively. Sophomore center Dwight Coleby finished the night with 10 points and led the team with 8 rebounds.
LSU guard Keith Hornsby was on fire, making five 3-pointers in the game. But he wasn’t the only Tiger who gave the Rebels trouble. Three LSU players finished the evening with double-doubles.
Forward Jarrell Martin (18 points, 14 rebounds), point guard Josh Gray (14 points, 10 assists) and forward Jordan Mickey (11 points 11 rebounds, 6 blocked shots) all played well for the Tigers.
The Rebels led for much of the first half of the game, up by as much as 26-19 with 4:29 left before halftime. However, LSU went on a huge 13-2 run to take a 32-28 lead into the locker room.
With 17:08 remaining in the game, LSU had increased its lead to 11; however, the Rebels countered with a 12-0 run that gave Ole Miss a 44-43 lead on LaDarius “Snoop” White’s 3-pointer with 13:49 remaining.
But as they had done in the first half, the Tigers responded. Forwards Mickey and Martin combined great play down low with Hornsby’s 3-point show on the perimeter.
The Rebels finished the night going an abysmal 27-for-78 (34.6 percent) from the field, including a 5-for-23 (21.7 percent) clip from long-range.
After the game, Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy put it bluntly. “We had an inability to make a timely shot when it counted,” he said. “Hornsby made them, we didn’t.”
At the free throw line, where they have been ranked No. 1 in the nation in completion percentage at 79.1, Ole Miss finished 12-of-16 for 75 percent on the night.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak against LSU for the Rebels, and it is the first time the Tigers have come out on top in Oxford since 2009.
Next Up: Ole Miss must now go on a two-game road trip to Arkansas on Saturday and Georgia next Tuesday, while LSU will host Texas A&M on Saturday.
(Featured image courtesy of Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics.)