By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss forward Reggie Buckner, the team’s top low-post defender, played only six minutes before fouling out in the Rebels’ 76-73 fall-from-ahead loss at Auburn on Wednesday.
In Saturday’s regular season finale, Buckner – who has fouled out seven times this season – didn’t pick up his first foul until 4 minutes, 25 seconds were left to play.
“When you foul out in six minutes, obviously, you’re not really locked in mentally,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “Reg needs to stay out of foul trouble, but he has to stay aggressive. Shot-blockers have to stay aggressive. When he goes 4 for 5 and throws in a free throw, that’s big.”
Buckner’s seven blocked shots gives him 92 for the year, 15 of those in two games against Arkansas.
Thank you to fans
• A crowd of 8,053 saluted Chris Warren and Zach Graham in their final home game, and Graham and Kennedy had good things to say about those in the gym.
Fans gave a long, loud ovation to the two seniors as Kennedy subbed for them with 43 seconds left.
“I appreciated it. Words can’t explain it, the support the fans have given us for four years. All I can say is thank you,” Graham said.
Said Kennedy: “Our fans have been terrific all year. I know we all want to win every game, but our fans have been allegiant, and we appreciate that, them coming out on a day in less than ideal weather conditions shows the respect they have for Chris and Zach and what they’ve done for us.”
• Warren finished 8 for 16 from the floor and 4 for 5 from the free throw line. He also had nine assists, missing his career-high by one. He played 36 minutes.
There was plenty of video on the two seniors before and during the game, fake beards were passed out poking fun at Warren’s facial growth. Warren’s dad wore the beard when the family walked onto the floor with Warren before the game.
“From a distance it looked real on some people,” Warren said. “I just laughed at my dad. He used to have one like that. He could have grown his own.”
• “They went off in the first half. We felt like those shots were contested. In the second half we slipped defensively. They were still playing well, but we slipped on some things.” – Arkansas guard Rotnei Clarke.
Contact Parrish Alford at 678-1600