NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Ole Miss and Tennessee carried a dogfight all the way into overtime, and the Rebels prevailed 77-72 to advance to Saturday's SEC Tournament semifinals against the Vanderbilt-Georgia winner.
Henry hit two free throws with 9.1 seconds left in regulation to give Ole Miss a 61-58 lead, but Tennessee’s Skylar McBee banked in a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to tie the game and send it into overtime.
The Rebels pushed ahead 70-63 in overtime on Murphy Holloway’s putback, but Tennessee rallied to pull within 74-72 on two free throws by Jarnell Stokes. Henry closed out the game by making two free throws with 11 seconds remaining.
Ole Miss (20-12) advances to the tournament semifinals for the first time since 2007. The Rebels also reached 20 wins for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
Tennessee (18-14) was led by Trae Golden’s 21 points. McBee and Cameron Tatum both scored 15. The Volunteers shot just 28.1 percent (18 of 64) from the field.
Ole Miss and Tennessee battled to a 28-28 halftime draw as the seventh-seeded Rebels managed to hang in the game despite rampant foul trouble. Five different players, including three starters, had two fouls, so coach Andy Kennedy was forced to use a patchwork of rarely used reserves like Aaron Jones and Maurice Aniefiok.
It worked decently, but the Rebels didn’t have much answer for Golden, who scored 11 first-half points.
The second half was just as intense. Neither team led by more than four points.
Holloway was crucial down the stretch for the Rebels, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Reginald Buckner had 12 points and eight rebounds. Ole Miss outscored Tennessee 38-12 in the paint.
Tennessee was the surprise of the SEC this season, recovering from some terrible losses during the nonconference portion of its schedule to finish 10-6 in the league and earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
The Volunteers have been getting NCAA attention because of the strong finish, but there’s no doubt the loss to Ole Miss hurts.
Ole Miss gets another chance to build its resume on Saturday in the semifinals against the winner of the Vanderbilt-Georgia game.
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