UPDATE: Ole Miss rallies from 11 down, beats Alabama 76-73

By John Zenor/The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Trevor Gaskins supplied the 3-pointers to spark a Ole Miss rally, and Terrico White drilled the one that helped put the game away.

All the Rebels’ biggest outside threat Chris Warren had to do was get them the ball before hitting two free throws with 8.6 seconds left to help finish off a 76-73 comeback win over Alabama on Saturday.

The Rebels (19-9, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit for just their third victory in the last eight games. They came back from 13 points down to beat Auburn earlier in the week.

The teams traded the lead three times in the final minute and White’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 31 seconds left put Ole Miss up 74-72.

“That was bigtime for me,” said White, who had four 3s. “I came off the screen, I was open and I took advantage of it. If they leave me open, I’m going to shoot it.”

Alabama (14-14, 4-10) called time out to set up the shot.

Mikhail Torrance drove to the basket but his shot bounced off the rim. JaMychal Green grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 9.8 seconds to play. He missed his first free throw but hit the second and Alabama was forced to quickly foul Warren, an 83 percent foul shooter.

He hit both and finished with 12 points and seven assists with no turnovers on a day when teammates White and Gaskins handled most of the perimeter scoring.

Tide coach Anthony Grant came in wanting to contain Warren, White and Zach Graham from beyond the arc. He was 2-for-3 in that goal. White, though, was 4-for-6, and Gaskins missed only three of his seven attempts.

“That was the difference in the game,” Grant said. “Our focus was more on ball containment keeping them out of the lane, taking away their ability to get to the free throw line with dribble penetration.

“They stepped up and hit some shots. They knocked down the shots that they had to have.”

The Tide’s final play was designed for Torrance to get the ball to Davis, but he spotted an open Tony Mitchell. Mitchell’s potential tying 3 at the end missed.

“He was wide open,” Torrance said. “I know he can knock that shot down. I have confidence in him so I threw him the ball. It just rimmed out.”

The Rebels went 12 of 25 from 3-point range.

Murphy Holloway scored 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting. White added 15 points and Gaskins, who came in averaging 3.8 points a game, scored 14.

“The coaches tell me to always be ready to make a play and do big things for the team, so today I listened and stepped up and made shots, steals and rebounds,” Gaskins said. “I did everything I needed to do to just keep us in the game and keep the energy.”

Torrance led Alabama with 19 points and six assists, scoring 11 of the Tide’s first 15 points.

Freshman Charvez Davis scored a career-high 19 on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. The rest of the team, however, made just 3 of 16 attempts from 3-point range.

Justin Knox added 12 points. Tide starting guard Senario Hillman was suspended before the game for what coach Anthony Grant said was “completely a basketball issue” and nothing off the court. He said there was a chance Hillman could play at South Carolina.

Rebels coach Andy Kennedy wasn’t expecting the outburst from Davis.

“We played the percentages,” Kennedy said. “Coming into the game, he’s made 15 3-pointers all year (in SEC games). He stepped up and made five and kept them in the game.”

The Rebels shot 45 percent but made 18 of 34 from the floor (52.9 percent) in the second half.

Alabama had reason not to feel safe even after going up 48-37, 5 minutes into the second half. The Rebels had stormed back from a 23-point second-half deficit to beat the Tide 74-67 on Feb. 6.

This time Alabama’s lead disappeared when Gaskins hit two 3-pointers and scored eight points to fuel a 12-0 Ole Miss run in a span of 2 minutes, 31 seconds. The Tide has lost seven of its last eight games.

Ole Miss scored seven straight points to take a 71-69 lead on Holloway’s second straight basket with 1:14 left.

But Davis answered with a 3-pointer from the right corner 14 seconds later to give Alabama the lead back.

The Rebels had trimmed an eight-point deficit down to 33-31 in the final 2 minutes of the first half. White nailed his third 3 at the buzzer off a pass from Warren.

White had 12 points in the final 6 minutes before the half, but saved his biggest shot for much later.

“That was a huge 3 at the end,” Kennedy said. “You want that from your all-league caliber player. That’s what he needs to do.”

Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal.

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