Is this the game that puts the Rebels in the NCAA tournament? Andy Kennedy was lobbying afterward, calling it the equivalent of an NCAA tournament game. The Rebels won’t know the answer to that for real until Selection Sunday.
Lots of video below. Here some game notes and observations:
– Andy Kennedy has been close to the NCAA tournament before but has never been able to win “the” game to get over the hump and through the door. This may have been in.
– Alex Oriakhi absolutely dominated Ole Miss in Columbia. “Punked” was the word Nick Williams used. Oriakhi is good, but as with most big men, he owes much of his success to his point guard. Phil Pressey was able to help Oriakhi get some good looks down low in the first half. As a result Oriakhi was 5-for-5 from the floor in the first half. He was limited to two field goal attempts in the final 20 minutes. He hit them both, but he was much less a factor down the stretch.
– Missouri was plus-12 on the glass, but Murphy Holloway, who had only one rebound when Oriakhi “punked” Ole Miss in Columbia, had 13 boards. Holloway missed a double-double by one point.
– What clutch play from Derrick Millinghaus. 5-for-8 from the floor including the big 3-pointer to answer Pressy’s shot that could have been a game-winner for Missouri, then hitting the floater with 1.1 seconds left to win it for Ole Miss.
Expect Millinghaus to play many more minutes tomorrow against Vanderbilt. Kennedy didn’t rule out Jarvis Summers, who is being treated for a concussion after catching an elbow in the second half, but Summers may not be available.
– Big game for Marshall Henderson. At 4-for-12 from 3 he’s been more efficient, but that’s still a good percentage. What he did in this game was beat Missouri to the basket. He wasn’t able to do that in Columbia, but did it here tonight. He was 8-for-18 from the floor.
– Missouri hasn’t been nearly as good a road team as it has been a home team this season, but the Tigers were 4-1 in neutral site games after beating Texas A&M in the second round here Thursday.
– When Ole Miss defeated Missouri 64-49 in Oxford, Mizzou coach Frank Haith talked about the turnovers the Rebels forced, 19 total. Tonight Ole Miss forced 16 turnovers and gave it up only seven times. The last Missouri turnover was the ultimate back-breaker. After Millinghaus tied it with his 3, Laurence Bowers was throwing it in under the Ole Miss basket. In what appeared to be a miscommunication, he threw it away. Apparently Bowers thought teammate Keion Bell was going to break in the direction of the pass. He did not, and Millinghaus ran it down, then dribbled in front of the Ole Miss bench and called time.
This is Marshall Henderson with the facial expressions you’ve come to expect:
Here’s Murphy Holloway
And a rare media appearance from Reggie Buckner