Ole Miss Wins OT Thriller over Auburn, 86-84
What a week for Kermit Davis and the Rebels! Ole Miss followed up Tuesday’s big win against then-No.10 Tennessee with an 86-84 overtime victory at Auburn Saturday. It came down to the last shot in OT as senior PG Devontae Shuler hit the game winner just inside the top of the key to give the Rebels the two-point victory.
Ole Miss improves to 10-8 (5-6 SEC) and completes the season sweep of Auburn. The Tigers fall to 10-10 (4-7 SEC).
In the first matchup earlier this season, Tigers’ star guard Sharife Cooper did not play and the Rebels were able to walk away with an 11-point win at The Pavilion. This time around, Cooper and his squad made it a competitive one.
“I thought they came out really tough and hard tonight. That was a really good team we beat tonight on their home floor.”
Kermit Davis on Auburn
First half summary
In the first half, the Rebels shot 50% from the floor, but Auburn was able to connect on 53.3% of its shots.
Romello White had a strong first period for Ole Miss, putting up 14 points (including the slam below) on 6/7 shooting and notching four rebounds.
— TJOxley1 (@TJOxley1) February 6, 2021
Auburn was also able to shoot 46.2% (6/13) from three-point range despite Ole Miss tightly contesting most of them. The Rebels surrendered 7 turnovers while forcing eight from the Tigers in the first half.
Ole Miss trailed 34-40 heading into the locker-room.
Second half action
In the second half, the Rebels would eventually find themselves down 14 points. But Shuler and White would have plenty to say about that, helping Ole Miss claw its way back into the game. The duo combined for 56 points and 16 rebounds Saturday afternoon.
White had his best game as a Rebel, scoring 30 of the 56 points along with 10 rebounds on 14/18 shooting. He also had a crucial tip-in, which helped send the game into overtime.
— TJOxley1 (@TJOxley1) February 6, 2021
Ole Miss had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but Devontae would just barely miss the mid-range shot. What he would not miss would be the confidence to take what ultimately became the game-winner in overtime.
In the extra period, the Rebels had a five-point lead with the basketball but would turn the ball over and give some momentum back to Auburn. After the Tigers cut the deficit to three, Cooper would go on to hit a clutch three-point shot to tie the game with about 15 seconds to go.
But Shuler would control the ensuing possession and hit the game winner just under the top of the key on a fade-away shot in Cooper’s face that put the Rebels up two for good.
“It just showed me that I can hit the next one. Coach told me to shoot the next one, the opportunity is going to happen again.”
Devontae Shuler on hitting the game winner
There’s no doubt Shuler wants the ball in his hands with the game on the line.
“Devontae and I have talked about it a bunch,” Coach Davis said.
“I kind of got into Devontae and coached him hard at halftime. That’s just what senior, elite guards do. They find ways to close these kind of games out. That’s all I’ve talked to Devontae about for the last month. He did it. He closed it out.”
Head coach Kermit Davis on Devontae Shuler
Devontae Shuler for the win in OT!! pic.twitter.com/Z76LIKiOWl
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) February 6, 2021
Shuler’s 26 points were a season-high for him, and he also added six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
White’s career day of 30 points is the most scored by a Rebel since Breein Tyree notched 40 points against Mississippi State a year ago. He also recorded his second double-double at Ole Miss, his 18th of his career.
“He willed his team to win,” Davis said of White.
“We’ve been working really hard and we couldn’t let this get away from us. Everybody bought in. We were all connected, no matter how far we got down.“
Romello White on the comeback win
- The Rebels swept the season series with the Tigers.
- Ole Miss has won 14 of the past 18 against Auburn.
- The Rebels played their first OT game of the season.
- Romello White (30) and Devontae Shuler (26) combined for 56 of the Rebels’ 86 points.
- White scored a career-high 30 points on 14 of 18 shooting, surpassing his previous best of 25 when he was a freshman at Arizona State (Nov. 17, 2017 vs. Northern Arizona).
- White’s 30 points were the most points scored by a Rebel since Breein Tyree scored 40 vs. MSU (Feb. 11, 2020).
- White recorded his second double-double of the season and 18th for his career.
- Shuler produced his 12th career 20-point game and sixth of the season.
- Shuler scored a season-high 26 points, including the game-winner in overtime.
- Robert Allen tied a season-high 12 points.
- Shuler recorded 2 steals, passing Jason Harrison (171) for fourth in Ole Miss history.
- Shuler also moved into the program’s top 10 for threes made over a career (161), passing Todd Abernethy (158).
- The Rebels held a 17-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
- Ole Miss overcame a double-digit second half deficit for the second straight game; the Rebels trailed by as many as 14 points.
(Tip-Ins are courtesy of Ole Miss Men’s Basketball)
Ole Miss will be back at The Pavilion hosting No.18 Missouri on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network.
(Feature image credit: Ole Miss Men’s Basketball)