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OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss dropped its first game since February 2nd as the Rebels lost on the road to South Carolina, 79-64. Terence Davis scored a team-high 18 points for Ole Miss, paired with 5 rebounds and an assist.
In the new NET rankings that the NCAA uses to select tournament teams, the Rebels are ranked 30th. The loss to the Gamecock’s should not put the Rebels on the bubble, but with home games remaining against No. 4 Kentucky and No. 5 Tennessee, Ole Miss needs to take care of business–beginning with Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game against Georgia.
(Click here for box score.)
Head coach Kermit Davis could not have asked for a better Rebels’ start to the game in Columbia. South Carolina began its evening having made only 1 of the Gamecock’s first 12 shots, while Ole Miss, on the other hand, knocked down 5 of 6 from the floor and built an early 13-2 lead just a few minutes into the contest.
Unfortunately, Ole Miss cooled off and endured a scoring drought that lasted eight minutes. In that time, the Rebels turned the ball over three times, allowing the Gamecocks to go on a 13-0 run that gave head coach Frank Martin’s team a 19-16 lead at the under-8 media timeout.
A Terence Davis 3-ball ended the drought, but that didn’t slow down the Gamecocks as South Carolina continued its monstrous run that ended with the lead having grown to 11 at the 3:30 mark, 33-22. Davis then knocked down an old-fashioned 3-point play, but it didn’t phase the home team as South Carolina hit its last three shots from the floor in the final two minutes of the half.
The Rebels got a break when the Gamecocks fouled Terence Davis on a last-second three. He hit 2 of 3 from the charity stripe, cutting the South Carolina lead to eight, 40-32, at the half.
At intermission, South Carolina led the Rebels in almost all statistical categories, with the exception of the turnover margin where Ole Miss had a +2 advantage, 7-5. Terence Davis was the leading scorer for the Rebels in the first half, notching 15 points.
Neither team came out playing its best basketball to open the second frame. The Rebels and Gamecocks exchanged buckets, and at the under-16 timeout, South Carolina held a 9-point lead.
Following the media break, Ole Miss finally caught a break of its own as Breein Tyree knocked down a huge layup through contact. Tyree’s bucket and a Devontae Shuler free throw make and a tip-in by Zach Naylor narrowed the Gamecocks’ lead to four.
The margin stuck within a couple points in favor of South Carolina for the next five minutes until Blake Hinson drilled a 3-pointer from NBA range that brought the Rebels to within three.
Tyree followed with a layup that cut the Gamecocks’ lead to just one point.
The Rebels were feeling the comeback vibe until South Carolina went on a 9-0 run going into the final media timeout of the game with a 70-61 lead. The Gamecocks closed out the game by hitting 5 of their last 8 shots from the floor en route to a 79-64 victory over Ole Miss.
Terence Davis led the Rebels with 18 points, while Tyree added 17 and 5 assists. South Carolina out-rebounded the Rebels, 46-38, while both squads finished with 28 points in the paint.
Chris Silva notched 18-points to lead South Carolina, while A.J. Lawson led the way in rebounds (9) and assists (6).
Ole Miss returns home Saturday to host the Georgia Bulldogs in The Pavilion after defeating that same squad, 80-64, in Athens just a few weeks ago. The contest tips off at 2:30 p.m. (CT), and the game will air on the SEC Network.
South Carolina’s win puts the Gamecocks in sole possession of fourth place in the SEC. The top four teams get a double bye in the SEC Tournament and will only need to win three games to get the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. The Gamecocks now will have the tiebreaker over Ole Miss and lead the remaining teams below them by at least two games.
Archie has been an Ole Miss fanatic since day one. Born in Denver, Colorado, he has a passion for everything Ole Miss and loves to be part of the great gameday experience. He is currently a freshman at the University of Mississippi and is studying the field of Journalism and Law. Archie played football in high school and also has extensive knowledge of all things college athletics.