Mississippi Downs Auburn On The Road, 74-70
Feb. 3, 2001
By BOB JOHNSON
AUBURN, Ala. - "Intensity" was a word used by players and coaches on both teams after Mississippi's 74-70 win over Auburn Saturday.
In the final minutes, Mississippi (17-4, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) had it and Auburn didn't, partly because several players were suffering from the flu.
"They played with a lot more intensity in the second half," Auburn's senior guard Scott Pohlman said. "We have to look at everything we did wrong, but intensity is where we hurt the most."
Auburn (13-9, 3-6 SEC) led by nine at halftime and by eight with 7 minutes remaining, but the final minutes belonged to the Rebels. Mississippi took the lead with 4:48 left when Justin Reed got a rebound after a missed free throw and hit a layup. The Rebels took the lead for good when Aaron Harper scored on a fast break layup with a minute to play. Harper also hit two free throws in the final minute.
"Our kids won't give up and they are going to fight until the horn goes off," Mississippi Coach Rod Barnes said.
Mississippi appeared to be in trouble midway through the second half when leading scorer and rebounder Rahim Lockhart twisted his ankle and had to leave the game. Lockhart later returned for limited action, but Mississippi seemed to pick up momentum after the injury.
"After Rahim's injury, we knew we had to get back in the game and really go after the win. Our kids hung in there and it was a great win for our program," Barnes said.
Lockhart said he worried about getting back into the game after being injured: "But our guys stepped up and played good together," Lockhart said. His injury did not appear to be serious.
Auburn Coach Cliff Ellis, who has watched his team lose six conference games
by five points or less or in overtime this season, would not let the flu be an
excuse for the loss.
"It's very simple why we lost if you look at the stats. We made too many turnovers, which is uncharacteristic of our team. But that is the way Ole Miss wins games," Ellis said.
The Tigers turned the ball over a season-high 23 times.
Auburn had several chances to win or send the game into overtime in the final seconds. Trailing 72-67, Adam Harrington was fouled attempting a 3-point shot and hit three free throws.
Mississippi's David Sanders hit one of two free throws with 12 seconds left, but Pohlman missed a 3-point attempt with four seconds remaining and Mississippi held on for the win.
The flu appeared to affect the play of several Auburn players in the second half.
Marquis Daniels scored 17 points in the first half, but got sick at halftime and only scored two in the second half. The Tigers jumped out to a 36-27 halftime lead and it could have been more if the Tigers could have made their free throws. Auburn was only 1-of-6 from the free throw line in the first half.
The Rebels featured a balanced attack, with five players finishing in double figures. Justin Reed scored 16 points, Harper added 13 and Jason Flanigan had 12. Rahim Lockhart scored 11 and Jason Holmes added 10.
Auburn was led by Daniels' 19 points. Harrington scored 16 and Pohlman added 14. Jamison Brewer had eight rebounds, six assists and nine points for the Tigers.
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