By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss forced 17 turnovers in its home finale against Alabama on Tuesday night, continuing a positive year-long trend.
The Rebels improved to 16-1 this season when forcing 15 or more turnovers in a game. Ole Miss gathered 14 in the first half to help build a 12-point lead at the intermission.
“We needed to come out aggressive so we decided to go man and we were very effective,” said Rebels coach Andy Kennedy. “We had very active hands which allowed us to get some steals and get us in the open floor.”
Ole Miss committed only nine turnovers. It was just the fourth time in conference play the Rebels did not have at least ten.
Buckner on the floor
Reginald Buckner sacrificed his body on the Rebels’ home floor for possibly the final time of his career.
The senior forward took three charges down low for Ole Miss, which forced seven offensive fouls total against the Crimson Tide.
Playing in foul trouble, Buckner also added one block to come within seven of entering the top-five all-time blocks leaders in SEC history with two guaranteed games remaining.
Players of the Game
LaDarius White and Derrick Millinghaus both made critical baskets as the Rebels built a double-digit lead.
White connected for seven points in a row early in the opening half, and the first of a handful of 3-pointers by Millinghaus gave Ole Miss an 11-point advantage ten minutes into the contest.
Off the bench, White scored 17 points and Millinghaus added 11.
“Obviously right now, seeding is at a premium and so every game is going to be critical. This was obviously a very important game.” – Alabama coach Anthony Grant, on the close race for the two-through-four spots in the SEC Tournament.
Ole Miss concludes its regular season on Saturday with a trip to rival LSU (12:30 p.m., SEC Network).