Ole Miss rallies to defeat State 79-73
In spite of trailing for most of the game, Ole Miss (13-7, 4-3 SEC) rallied to defeat Mississippi State 79-73 at the Tad Smith Coliseum Wednesday night. Ole Miss increases its home winning streak to four in a row against MSU (9-11, 2-5).
The Rebels were fortunate to escape the game with a victory, and afterwards Coach Andy Kennedy explained how Ole Miss was able to get the win:
“At the end, we finally made heady plays. One of the things I thought was a strength of our group was our experience. We haven’t played that experienced until the last two games down the stretch. We got an angle, shot faked and leaned in to get a guy off balance. We continue to make free throws at a very efficient rate.”
Senior guard Jarvis Summers finished the game with 22 points, pushing his career total to 1,510. He is one of only 14 players in the Southeastern Conference to amass 1,500 points and 400 assists.
Ole Miss was down by 13 in the second half, but fought its way back into the game. Anthony Perez hit a 3-pointer that tied the game with 6:16 remaining. When Dwight Coleby hit a pair of free throws with 5:42 left, Ole Miss had its first lead of the second half.
Summers was invaluable Wednesday night, making numerous clutch shots and going 12 of 15 from the free-throw line. He made the key play of the game, hitting a 3-pointer with 3:16 remaining—and was fouled on the play. He completed the four-point play and the Rebels went ahead 71-65.
The Bulldogs shot 55.6 percent from the field, but were plagued with 16 turnovers to Ole Miss’ 6.
For the first time this season, the Rebels were out-rebounded by their opponent. Ole Miss had 31 rebounds, while State finished with 34. Coach Kennedy complimented the Bulldogs on their play in the game and noted his team’s resilience:
“I want to give Mississippi State a lot of credit. They played exceptionally hard. Very seldom do you win basketball games in the SEC when you get outrebounded. This is the first time we’ve been out-rebounded in quite some time. They outrebounded us, shot 56 percent from the floor and almost 50 percent from 3. I give our guys credit for staying in the fight and making enough plays to survive.”
Ole Miss travels to play Missouri on Saturday.
(Feature image courtesy of Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics.)