Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Comes Up Just Short at No. 15 South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. – (Release) Storming back from a 12-point deficit at halftime to make it a one-possession game most of the final eight minutes, the clock ran out on the Ole Miss men’s basketball team, as they fell to No. 15 South Carolina on the road 68-65 on Tuesday night in Colonial Life Arena.
The Rebels (18-5, 5-5 SEC) defense held the Gamecocks (20-3, 8-2 SEC) to just 25 points in the second half, paced by five blocks, including three swats from Jamarion Sharp.
Down one around five minutes into the game, Ole Miss quickly faced a double-digit deficit, at 10 with 11:48 left before halftime. Shooting over 62 percent from the floor in the first 20-minutes of action, South Carolina led the Rebels 43-31 at the midway buzzer.
The Rebels came out with intensity on both ends of the floor for the second period, as they cut the home team’s lead to under 10, 57-48 with 11 minutes left thanks to a jumper by Allen Flanigan. Brandon Murray found Sharp down low on back-to-back possessions, making it a 59-52 game with around nine minutes on the board.
A tough offensive rebound by Sharp led to a bucket for the forward, as the Rebels cut their deficit to five with eight minutes remaining. Moments later, Matthew Murrell sunk a jumper at the top of the floor to put Ole Miss in position to jump ahead, trailing 62-60. Over five minutes remained as Murrell dropped another three to make it 66-63.
A block by Sharp and ensuing score from Flanigan with 38 seconds left put Ole Miss down three, 68-65. While South Carolina missed a shot from deep on the next possession, Murrell drove down the floor as the seconds ticked down, attempting a three through contact that didn’t fall.
Flanigan led the team in scoring today with 26 points, tied for the second-most he’s made this season. The senior forward added six rebounds, a pair of assists, and a steal.
Scoring 17 points, Murrell collected nine rebounds to tie his career-best, connecting on three makes from beyond the arc for the third game in a row.
Returning to action after missing the last game due to illness, Sharp scored six points and swatted a trio of shots, the 11th time he’s posted three or more blocks in a game this season.
This was the sixth game of the season Ole Miss shot over 50 percent from the floor, led by Flanigan who was 11-15.
The home team was paced offensively by Collin Murray-Boyles with 16 points, while Ta’lon Cooper and Myles Stute scored 12.
The Rebels will take the weekend off to prepare for another big road test next on their schedule, as they’re set to head to Kentucky on Tuesday, February 13 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.
(Feature image credit: T. Joshua Boucher/TheState.com)
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.