Final: Xavier 76, Ole Miss 57

Ole Miss players didn’t talk about fatigue. They’re too proud to do that.

Truthfully, this team has shot so poorly in key games down the stretch that it’s hard to look and say fatigue was a factor in shooting.

Bottom line is Ole Miss shot 32.9 percent for the game. Xavier shot 37.9 percent in the first half when it led by 12 and 55.6 in the second half when legs tend to weaken.

It’s hard to really notice the fatigue, but it struck me when Aaron Jones couldn’t handle a one-handed dunk that I’ve seen him handle with ease before.

So, is fatigue why Ole Miss lost? I doubt it. The Rebels weren’t fatigued when they shot poorly against South Carolina, LSU and Georgia in recent weeks.

Ole Miss could not handle Matt Stainbrook, Xavier’s 6-10, 270-pound center. He was unlike any big man the Rebels faced this year, and he wasn’t a stiff. He had nice movement to his left that gave Ole Miss fits.

Xavier, the Big East leader in field goal percentage, knocked down some open shots too.

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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