Final: Ole Miss 82, Alabama 74

I am not a bracketologist and did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but you don’t have to have all that to know this was a huge win for Ole Miss.

Some have speculated that 11 SEC wins along with other factors might be enough to get the Rebels into the NCAA tournament. The case will be much stronger if the Rebels beat Vanderbilt Saturday night at home. The way this season has gone it would probably be better if Ole Miss could play that game in Nashville or at least on a neutral sight.

Tonight’s win was the Rebels’ 11th away from Tad Smith, their eighth in an opponent’s gym.

Ole Miss shot just 35.5 percent in the first half but 61.1 in the second. LaDarius White went off (19 points, 7-for-9 FG, 4-for-5 3-FG) and Stefan Moody had 25 points in spite of going only 2-for-6 from 3.

Here’s Andy Kennedy:

With just under 10 minutes to play the Rebels were finally able to gain some separation. They scored on three-straight trips then with White getting back-to-back 3s.

The spurt came when Alabama had center Jimmie Taylor on the bench. He hurt the Rebels in the early minutes of the second half, and Ole Miss was not able to pull away when he was out. Then it all of a sudden happened. Moody hit a floater for a 3-point lead. Taylor got off the bench, but before he could get in the game White hit two 3-pointers.

From there the Rebels were able to make key shots after spreading the floor and hit free throws.

Here’s White:

Ole Miss was minus-1 on the glass but forced nine turnovers in the second half leading to 11 second-chance points.

In a game with way too many fouls called Ole Miss was 21-for-26 from the line, Alabama 31-for-39. Alabama’s Levi Randolph had 32 points and set a school record by going 17-for-17 from the free throw line.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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