Alabama claims 69-67, 2OT win over Ole Miss

By John Zenor/The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Andrew Steele hit a jump shot and 1 of 2 free throws in the final 31 seconds of the second overtime, lifting Alabama to a 69-67 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night.

Steele picked up a loose ball just before the shot clock ran out and drilled a long jumper for the Crimson Tide (15-7, 4-4 Southeastern Conference), which has won two straight after a four-game losing streak.

Jelan Kendrick then missed a shot for the Rebels (14-8, 4-4) and they sent Steele to the line. His first foul shot bounced off the rim and back in to make it a two-possession game.

Trevor Releford also made 1 of 2 from the line after that, and Jarvis Summers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Ole Miss for the final margin.

JaMychal Green led Alabama with 16 points and 12 rebounds before picking up his fifth foul just 24 seconds into the second overtime.

Mitchell scored 14 points after coming off the bench for the first time this season. He had made just 15 of 50 shots over the previous five games, and coach Anthony Grant went with a starting lineup that included three freshmen.

Charles Hankerson Jr. supplied a second-half spark and finished with 10 points. Releford had seven points, five steals and four assists.

Nick Williams, a Mobile, Ala. native, led Ole Miss with 19 points. Terrance Henry added 14 while Reginald Buckner collected 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out in the first overtime.

Neither team got a field goal in the second overtime until the 2:19 mark. Then, Releford got a steal and passed to Steele to start a fast break. Steele found Mitchell, who slammed it into the basket for a 63-62 lead.

The Rebels missed a shot and Hankerson couldn’t hit a 3-pointer for the Crimson Tide. Mitchell was fouled chasing down a long rebound, making both free throws for a 65-62 lead with 1:18 remaining.

Henry scored on a quick drive and Alabama worked 34 seconds off the shot clock before Steele salvaged the possession.

Steele rejoined the team in January after getting medically cleared to return after sustaining multiple concussions, and has supplied a steadying presence for a team that started a trio of freshmen. He had seven points, including several of the game’s biggest.

In the first overtime, Henry blocked a Nick Jacobs shot to give the Rebels the ball with 16 seconds left.

Ole Miss had to inbound the ball when Releford knocked it away with 4.2 seconds left. Henry fired it in to Summers who lost control of the ball streaking toward the basket.

Green’s desperation jumper at the buzzer missed.

Mitchell punched the ball loose from Henry and Levi Randolph raced for an uncontested layup with 1:48 left to give Alabama a 54-51 lead. Henry tied it with a basket and free throw at the other end with 57 seconds to play.

Alabama got to run the clock down after a foul, but Randolph missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer to send it to overtime.

Click here for Inside Ole Miss Sports blog with Parrish Alford.

Read more about this game in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal.