Rebels Fall to No. 12 Tennessee, 98-60
Jan. 15, 2000
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Mississippi suffered the aftereffects of Tennessee's last loss.
The 12th-ranked Volunteers blew a 12-point second-half lead and lost to Vanderbilt on Wednesday night. But they regrouped Saturday night with one of their best efforts of the year in a 98-60 win over the Rebels.
The margin of victory was the highest by Tennessee against an Southeastern Conference foe since the Vols defeated Florida 116-73 in 1979.
"We played better. I'm sure Vanderbilt had something to do with it," Tennessee coach Jerry Green said. "We reminded them of having a big lead and letting it get away.
Tony Harris hit 6-of-7 3-pointers and scored 21 to lead Tennessee, which led by as many as 41 points in the second half. Tennessee improved to 15-2 overall and 3-1 in SEC play. Ole Miss (12-5, 0-4) got 14 points from John Gunn and 12 from Marcus Hicks.
"It was probably our best overall game," Green said. "We shot the ball well and that makes up for a lot of sins. We played good defense too."
Marcus Haislip, who added 10 points for the Vols, said the defeat at the hands of Vanderbilt was an eye-opening experience.
"It showed us that we can be beat," Haislip said. "We knew we had to improve and we came out and showed it tonight. It gave us the motivation to come out and look good."
Tennessee, which led 46-30 at halftime, wasted little time taking control in the second half. Vincent Yarbrough, who scored 13 points, scored seven points in an 18-6 spurt by Tennessee to open the second half.
Unable to mount an offense against Tennessee's strong defense, the Rebels fell further behind as the hot-shooting Vols continued to click from long range and inside. Ron Slay and Del Baker provided much of the scoring punch down the stretch for the Vols.
"Tennessee has great talent and is one of the top 10 teams in the
country," Mississippi coach Rod Barnes said. "We didn't get the job done. We
have no excuses. We have to get back home and get better."
The Vols used a 3-point shooting barrage to take an early lead in the first half. Harris hit three 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes and Yarbrough added another as Tennessee took a 23-10 lead.
Mississippi struggled offensively early, scoring just three points in the first five minutes. A 15-2 run by the Vols - keyed by Haislip's six points - helped Tennessee to a 35-15 lead with 6:28 left in the half.
The Rebels tried to rally behind Gunn, who scored six points in the last five minutes of the half. But the Vols were able to maintain a 16-point lead at halftime, thanks to Harris' shooting.
Tennessee shot 55 percent from the field for the game. Ole Miss shot 30 percent.
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