By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – If a road win at Auburn was supposed to get Ole Miss on a roll it fell short of that goal.
Back at home the Rebels struggled offensively in a 69-47 loss to Georgia before 7,029 at The Pavilion Wednesday night.
The Rebels were not bad defensively, their changing looks forcing the Bulldogs into missed shots and turnovers early. Ole Miss, though, was not productive with its extra possessions, shooting season-lows of 27.5 percent from the floor and 10.5 percent – just 2 of 19 – from 3-point range.
The Rebels (10-6, 1-3 SEC) had shot 51.1 percent and 49.1 percent in their last two games.
One who might have helped the Rebels out of their offensive slumber was Deandre Burnett, but he limped off the floor putting no weight on his left ankle with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half. The Rebels trailed 26-15 then, and Burnett was 1 for 6 from the floor.
“I don’t know that it was anything we did,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “Obviously when you take their leading scorer out of the game their rhythm is going to be different.”
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy had no immediate update on the condition of Burnett, who began the day averaging 19.0 points. The Rebels play at South Carolina, perhaps without Burnett, who Kennedy had just moved to point guard.
“I thought our energy out of the gate was good. The changing of defenses was effective. It was allowing us to stay in the game despite our inability to score,” Kennedy said, “but when you shoot 16 percent in a half …”
Terence Davis showed flashes early in the second half but had no help.
Davis scored in transition and with his mid-range game too. He scored all of his team-leading 12 points in the second half.
The Rebels, though, could get no closer than seven points back in the second half, the last time coming at 47-40 with 7:22 to play.
The most reliable scorers for Ole Miss were held in check in the first half as Georgia (11-5, 3-1 SEC) set the tone. Sebastian Saiz, like Burnett, was 1 for 6, while Cullen Neal and Davis were both 0 for 3.
It added up to 16.7 percent shooting in the half, as Ole Miss, down 30-18, trailed at the half for the fourth time in four SEC games.
Georgia center Derek Ogbeide kept Saiz from catching the ball in good scoring position. Saiz occasionally forced shots in the first half and was called for traveling twice. The Bulldogs doubled in the post too, something Fox says they rarely do.
“I wish I could tell you I saw this coming,” Kennedy said. “I certainly did not.”