Ole Miss picked up another crucial SEC win Saturday night, defeating Tennessee 59-57 in the Tad Smith Coliseum.
Stefan Moody continued his roll through SEC play and led all players in the victory with 22 points–his second straight game with 20 or more points. The junior guard finished with six 3-pointers in the win. In his last two games, Moody has shot 60% from the three-point line, hitting 14-of-23 from long range.
Senior guard Jarvis Summers had 13 points on the night and also notched 8 assists, which tied his season high for assists. Summers has now moved into 10th place on the all-time scoring list at Ole Miss.
Head coach Andy Kennedy mentioned his two leading scorers after the game:
“Stefan Moody is playing with a lot of confidence. He’s making hard shots for us. Jarvis really was aggressive tonight. He missed some, but he made some. He created off the bounce.”
Tennessee was ahead of Ole Miss 30-27 at halftime. The Vols came out aggressive in the second half, scoring eight of the first 11 points to give them 38-30 lead over the Rebels with 16:00 minutes remaining in the game.
But as he has done many times this season, the diminutive Moody came up huge when the Rebels needed it most. With his team down 44-36, Moody led Ole Miss (19-8, 10-4 Southeastern Conference) on a 16-3 run that gave the Rebels a 52-47 lead with 8:05 to go.
Moody was big on both ends of the court. During that approximately four-minute long run, he scored eight points and also came up with a defensive rebound that led to two free throws which put the Rebels up 58-57 with 1:54 remaining in the game.
In addition to his scoring and timely rebounds, Moody also came up with six steals—two short of the Ole Miss school record.
On the night, the Rebels forced Tennessee (14-12, 6-8 SEC) into committing 13 turnovers.
Forcing those turnovers was critical for the Rebels. “The 1-3-1 zone got us back in the game,” Kennedy said. “We turned them over. They had 13 turnovers, and they had a two- or three-minute segment, where it was very problematic for them.”
After Jarvis Summers hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 28 seconds to go, Ole Miss was up 59-57. Down by two, Tennessee’s Josh Richardson then missed the mark on two attempts, giving the Rebels the key conference win.
The victory is important for Ole Miss, as it keeps them tied with A&M for third place in the SEC. Arkansas is in second place, but with the Hogs facing both A&M and Kentucky this coming week, there is a real opportunity for the Rebels to move up in the standings. (Ole Miss holds the tiebreaker over A&M, having defeted the Aggies earlier this season.)
Click here for current SEC Men’s Basketball Standings.
Ole Miss hosts Georgia Wednesday night (8 p.m. CT, SEC Network), and will then travel to Baton Rouge to play LSU on (1 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net).