By Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal
Didn’t see it coming
– This is not the stretch run Murphy Holloway envisioned.
Ole Miss, ranked No. 14 in early January, has lost five of its last six. With opportunities slipping away, the Rebels are playing themselves into a position of having to win the SEC Tournament in Nashville to advance to the NCAAs.
For Ole Miss, 61 points scored against Florida was a season-low.
“I wouldn’t have seen this coming, man, the way we started off in Puerto Rico. We looked good. We were having fun, but we’ve hit some adversity, and we haven’t responded,” Holloway said.
Kennedy, taking responsibility for his team’s poor play for the second time in three days, cited a short attention span as a hurdle not cleared.
“We hit these lapses, and typically the team with the fewest lapses wins. Right now, we have the most lapses,” he said.
Except for a couple of second-chance baskets, the Rebels were unable to get many clean looks against the Gators’ defense through most of the second half.
“I don’t know how we lose focus like that,” Holloway said. “We started out great the last two games, then we hit those lows, and it’s like we’re not in it.”
– Ole Miss guard Eniel Polynice had seven turnovers, the most he’s had in an SEC game and tying for the most he’s had this season.
Polynice had 108 assists to 67 turnovers going into the game, team-highs in both categories.
Polynice also had five assists in the game but only four points on 2-for-6 shooting. He was averaging almost 11 points a game.
– In SEC play, the Gators are now 5-1 in games decided by five points or fewer, while the Rebels are 1-4.
Florida has won eight of the last nine in the series. The Rebels’ last win over the Gators was an 89-87 decision here two years ago.
Ole Miss wasn’t the only team that needed the win for NCAA tournament chances. It goes in the left-hand column for the Gators, but Billy Donovan isn’t sure what it means at this point.
“When you talk about the NCAA tournament and RPI, probably on our side, there will be more (teams). When we play our side, we have more opportunities to complete, quote unquote, our resume,” the Florida coach said.
– “We had high expectations for this year. For it to go the way it’s going just hurts. There was silence in the locker room.” – Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway.