Ole Miss Falls to Vanderbilt on Senior Night
March 7, 2015


OXFORD, Miss. -- Five Rebels scored in double figures, led by senior forward M.J. Rhett, who finished with a career-high 18 points, but Ole Miss (20-11, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) was unable to overcome a hot shooting night from Vanderbilt in an 86-77 loss Saturday night at Tad Smith Coliseum.

Playing on Senior Night, Rhett was joined in double figures by two of his fellow seniors, guards Jarvis Summers (16 points) and LaDarius White (10 points), as well as junior guard Stefan Moody (14 points) and sophomore forward Sebastian Saiz (12 points).

The Commodores (19-12, 9-9 SEC) shot a blistering 54.4 percent (30-for-55) from the field and 56.4 percent (13-for-23) from 3-point range. Freshman guard Riley LaChance led the barrage with a game-high 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range, to go along with eight assists.

"They put on a clinic," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "They had been shooting the ball well, close to 50 percent, from 3 over their last three or four games. They're as good a shooting team as we have faced, maybe in my nine years here with different guys who can stretch you. Basketball is a game of rhythm. You have to disrupt theirs and establish yours, and we did neither."

Vanderbilt led by as many as 13 and took a 46-33 lead into halftime. The Commodores were 9-for-15 from 3-point range in the half, including a runner off the glass as time expired. Vanderbilt used runs of 11-0 and 8-0 to build a 13-point lead at the under-8 media timeout.

Ole Miss battled back to within six, 37-31, with 2:12 left, before Vanderbilt answered with back-to-back 3-pointers as part of a 9-2 run to end the half.

"They have really good shooters," Kennedy said. "We tried to recruit a couple of them, and when they're open, we told our guys that they're going to make them. The thing that stuck out to was 25 assists off 30 made field goals. They just beat us with ball movement, and we had breakdown after breakdown after breakdown, and then they got into a big-time rhythm, and it was hard for us to get them out of it."

Looking to cut back into the Vanderbilt lead, Ole Miss got to within eight on two occasions, but both times, the Commodores had an answer, pushing to the 59-49 with 15:32 left.

The Rebels made a late run, getting to within 11 after a 6-0 run midway through the second half and later got to within 10 at the last media timeout, but they were unable to get any closer than the 86-77 final score.

Ole Miss finished in a four-way tie for third place in the SEC standings, but by virtue of a tiebreaker, the Rebels will be No. 6 seed in the SEC Tournament in Nashville. They await the winner of No. 11 seed South Carolina and No. 14 Missouri in the nightcap of Thursday's second-round games.


 

 

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