Ole Miss beats SMU, 50-48

By David Brandt/The Associated Press

OXFORD — Terrance Henry scored 13 points, including four in the final two minutes, to lead Ole Miss over Southern Methodist 50-48 on Tuesday night.

Ole Miss (10-4) struggled to put away the Mustangs, trailing 48-46 with less than two minutes remaining. But Henry scored on a driving layup to tie the game and then hit two free throws with 28.3 seconds remaining to give the Rebels the lead.

Ole Miss snapped a three-game losing streak. Reggie Buckner added eight points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Maurice Aniefiok scored eight points off the bench.

Robert Nyakundi scored 12 points and Jeremiah Samarrippas added 10 as SMU rallied from a 31-21 second-half deficit, but it wasn’t enough. The Mustangs (8-6) shot 36.5 percent (19 of 52) from the field.

Ole Miss survived this game thanks to Henry’s late points, but with SEC play looming on Saturday in a road opener against LSU, the Rebels are desperately searching for consistent offense. Henry is averaging 11.5 points per game — which ranks second on the team — and coach Andy Kennedy hopes the 6-foot-9 senior can provide more consistency as Ole Miss approaches the most critical weeks on the schedule.

The Rebels started with a promising 9-1 record this season despite an inability to score consistently. But the offensive problems caught up with them in late December, with three consecutive losses to Southern Miss, Middle Tennessee and Dayton.

Ole Miss came into Tuesday’s game shooting just 42.9 percent from the field, including 28.4 percent from 3-point range and an anemic 58.7 percent on free throws — which ranks 333rd out of 338 NCAA Division I teams.

In beating SMU, the Rebels improved on their free throws — making 14 of 17 — but little else. Ole Miss shot 34.1 percent (15 of 44) from the field and 26.1 percent (6 of 23) from 3-point range.

Luckily for Ole Miss, SMU was just as bad on offense. Even so, the Mustangs had a chance to take the lead in the final seconds, but guard Aliaksei Patsevich missed an open 3-pointer.

Ole Miss led 28-21 at halftime despite shooting just 33.3 percent (8 of 24) from the field. The Rebels stretched that lead to 31-21 on Henry’s 3-pointer early in the second half, but the Mustangs responded with a 10-0 run to tie the game 15:01 remaining.


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