Rebels Fall to Gamecocks in Second Round of SEC Tournament
March 12, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Senior LaDarius White led Ole Miss with 17 points and fellow senior Jarvis Summers added 15, including a four-point play with 2.9 seconds left to take a 58-57 lead, but the Rebels (20-12) fell in the final moments to South Carolina 60-58 in the SEC Tournament Thursday.

"I'm still in a little bit of shock based on the ending," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "Two teams played really hard, as you expect at this time of the season, understanding that if you lose, you go home."

Ole Miss shot just 30 percent from the floor and 7-for-20 from 3-point range with 21 turnovers, but the Rebels got to the free-throw line, where they went 19-for-23. They also held South Carolina (17-15) to 30 percent shooting and forced 13 turnovers, in addition to winning the rebounding battle, 44-33.

"We struggled all night offensively," Kennedy said. "If you look at our 12 losses, there is a common theme, and that's our inability to find any rhythm offensively. We stayed in the game because defensively we were pretty good and we battled in some effort areas to give ourselves a chance down the stretch."

South Carolina led for most of the game, taking advantage of an early 8-0 run after Ole Miss scored the opening basket of the game. White knocked down two of his three first-half 3-pointers to get the Rebels within 12-10.

The Gamecocks stretched its lead to 26-16, its largest lead of the game, before the Rebels answered with a late 8-0 run of their own to send the game into halftime trailing 27-24.

Ole Miss to within one, 29-28, before South Carolina sophomore Duane Notice answered with five straight as part of a 7-0 run for the Gamecocks. The Rebels remained close and had multiple opportunities to regain the lead. They finally broke through, going ahead 45-44 after White made two free throws with 6:07 left.


 

 

The final 6:07 featured six ties and eight lead changes, as South Carolina took a 49-48 lead into the final media timeout. Junior Stefan Moody rose up and knocked down his first and only 3-pointer of the game to give Ole Miss a 52-51 lead with 2:14 left.

South Carolina sophomore Sindarius Thornwell, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half, completed a three-point play on the other end to regain a 54-52 lead. After a layup by sophomore Sebastian Saiz to tie the game at 54-54, Thornwell drove and made another layup in the final minute.

Down 56-54, the Rebels had three looks at the basket, but they were not unable to convert. After a made free throw for South Carolina, Ole Miss ran action for Moody, who was covered and found an open Summers for a corner 3-pointer, who made the shot, drew the foul and made the free throw to go ahead 58-57.

And then on the final possession, South Carolina senior Tyrone Johnson rushed the ball up court, drew a foul on a 3-point attempt and then made all three free throws to lift the Gamecocks to the 60-58 win.

"Jarvis made a huge play, and then we were trying to make them make a hard shot in the last possession, and unfortunately it didn't turn out the way we would have hoped," Kennedy said.

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