Ole Miss Drops Close Contest to Mizzou 75-69
Feb. 6, 2018

By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. - Andy Kennedy has said the biggest surprise of this season is this team's inability to make winning plays down the stretch. Ole Miss yet again put itself in a position to win the game --  fighting back from a nine-point halftime deficit -- but came up short down the stretch in a 75-69 loss to Missouri.

The Rebels are now 11-13 (4-7 SEC) while the Tigers have won three in a row and are 16-8 (6-5 SEC).

"We have been talking for over a month now about our awareness and how it has to get better," Kennedy said. "Unaware people are unsuccessful people. Our awareness has to be better."

The team's energy couldn't be faulted in the early stages of the game. Ole Miss jumped on Missouri 11-0 in the first four and a half minutes of the game, largely thanks to some transition buckets from Terence Davis. The Tigers settled in and pieced together a 30-9 run over the next 12 minutes of the opening half. Jontay Porter had 12 points and seven rebounds at the intermission for Mizzou.

Terence Davis had 12 first half points. Ole Miss struggled to find consistent scoring in its halfcourt offense behind Davis. The junior finished with 20 on the night. His teammates came to his assistance in the second half, however.

Bruce Stevens got a couple of easy baskets inside, and Markel Crawford got out in transition after a couple of Tiger turnovers. A 40-31 deficit was quickly erased when Ole Miss tied the game at 46.

Stevens finished with 15 points and seven rebounds. Crawford had 11 points and six assists.

"Our guys don't quit," Kennedy said. "We fought back, fought back and got up two. We couldn't get a stop. We had a couple of ill-advised possessions."

The teams see-sawed back-and-forth for the next six minutes of game action. Neither team led by more than four points down the stretch. Ole Miss tied the game and then took a lead at 55-51. It put itself right back in the game with a puncher's chance to win.

But Robertson proved too much to handle for the Rebels. He had 19 second half points and 27 for the game to lead all scorers. Every time Ole Miss tied the game or drew within a point or two, Robertson seemed to have an answer. He immediately hit a three pointer from the top of the key after Ole Miss tied it at 46-46. He made another to give the Tigers a four-point cushion at 65-61 with three minutes to go. He kept Missouri afloat when Ole Miss was clawing back in the second half.

"The difference in the game was Kassius Robertson," Kennedy said. "That kid is playing like an all-league player. He just made a bunch of big plays for them, whether it be off the bounce, we had a hard time containing him. If we put our hands down, he shot it in."

The lead exchanged hands four times over the final seven minutes of the game as Ole Miss fought to end a now three-game skid.  A Domink Olejniczak layup tied things up again at 67 apiece with 1:45 remaining on the clock. Missouri got five straight stops and sealed the game with eight consecutive free throws.

"We've just been all over the map," Kennedy said. "We have five guards that play the majority of the minutes and coming into tonight not one was shooting over 40 percent. We have got to become more efficient in the backcourt."

Part of that awareness Kennedy is referring to is shot selection, and down the stretch the Rebels took some tough shots. It's that particular area this team will need to improve on if it wants to be on the right side of these close games.

"It's awareness and effort," Davis said. "Getting on the floor for a loose ball and giving great effort."

To their credit, the Rebels have been in mostly every single game they've played this year. It's the crucial possessions as the final minutes melt off the clock that make for such a thin margin of error.

"We have to come through down the stretch," Kennedy said. "Our shot selection at the end, as opposed to playing through Bruce, was not good."

Ole Miss will try to get back on the right foot this Saturday against LSU in Baton Rouge.

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," Kennedy said. "No one is feeling sorry for us. We have to pick ourselves back up."

For the latest news and information on Ole Miss Basketball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.


  • With a team-high 20 points, Terence Davis posted his sixth 20-point game of the season.
  • Along with 11 points, making him four points away from 1,000 for his career, Markel Crawford dished out a career-high six assists without committing a turnover.
  • Crawford also tied a career high with five steals. He also accomplished the feat versus Utah earlier this season (Nov. 20).
  • Bruce Stevens scored 15 points with the help of going 5 for 5 at the free throw line. Stevens has now made 46 of his last 57 free throws (80.7 percent) to increase his season average to 74.4 percent.
  • Ole Miss went with its 14th different starting lineup of the season.
  • After committing a season-high 17 turnovers in each of the last two games, the Rebels only turned the ball over a season-low four times versus Missouri. Ole Miss also dished out 19 assists, its most in a game since Jan. 16 at Texas A&M (19).



    • SIDEBAR: A Look Back at an Ole Miss Sweep of Winthrop

      Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - Grae Kessinger got just enough of the bat on a breaking ball on the outside corner from Winthrop's Dalton Whitaker. The ball squirted towards the hole on the left side and grazed the outstretched glove of Eagle... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Clutch Hitting Drives Rebels in Game 2

      Saturday, February 17, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - The pitch came out of Winthrop's Colton Rendon's hand at 81 mph with the intention of breaking but hung as it floated towards Cole Zabowski at the plate. The sophomore first baseman turned and crushed it... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rolison, Rebels Roll Past Winthrop in Opener

      Friday, February 16, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - A dominant summer in the Cape Cod League brought forth some lofty expectations for Ole Miss' Ryan Rolison, something he's never shied away from.The sophomore lefty certainly lived up to them on opening day as he put... read more

    • Rebel Alums: Where are They Now

      Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      In our second installment of Rebel Alums: Where are They Now, we take a look at the All-American twin duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann.In 2012, Marcel Thiemann became the fourth player in Ole Miss men's tennis history to... read more

    • Baseball Releases 2018 Walk Out Songs

      Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Baseball

      With the first pitch of the 2018 season just days away, check out the much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @OleMissBSB and using the hashtag #RebWalkOuts.#1 Jacob Adams:... read more

    • Bianco Previews 2018 Team At Media Day

      Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Baseball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com Mike Bianco spoke with a sense of excitement in his voice as he stood at a podium in the Diamond Club seating area at Swayze Field at media day. Ole Miss opens its 2018... read more

    • Kennedy Leaves Ole Miss Better Than He Found It

      Monday, February 12, 2018 - Men's Basketball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, OleMissSports.com One of the first things Andy Kennedy said on Monday afternoon following the announcement that he would step down at the end of next season is that he felt a sense of calmness and... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Outfield

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      The final edition of our Ole Miss softball preview looks at the Rebel outfield, a speedy and athletic group that head coach Mike Smith is excited about heading into the 2018 season.Left Field: Elantra CoxThe senior is an electric... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Pitchers

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      Part two of our Ole Miss softball preview takes a look at the Rebel pitchers. This group was headlined by Kaitlin Lee last season with Brittany Finney, Morgan Bruce and others providing solid options as well. Head Coach Mike... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Infield

      Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Softball

      Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

      Friday, February 2, 2018 - Softball

      In the 10th and final of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features first baseman/designated player Abbey Latham. Abbey Latham | 1B/DP | R/R | 5-11 | Fr. | Livingston,... read more

    • Scholtz Looks Forward to Davis Cup

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      OXFORD, Miss. - While his alma mater kicks off a big weekend with two home matches at their brand new indoor tennis center, Rebel All-American Nik Scholtz will be representing his home country, South Africa, in Davis Cup at the... read more

    • National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Soccer

      OXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.The week-long training... read more

    • #RebsBSB Season Preview: Bullpen

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Baseball

      The bullpen was undoubtedly the backbone of Ole Miss' 2017 team. The Rebels had arguably the strongest bullpen in the SEC, one with a variety of different arms with closer Dallas Woolfolk anchoring the back end as the team's... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Jessica Puk

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Softball

      In the ninth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features utility player Jessica Puk. Jessica Puk | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington... read more




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago