Double-OT Win Sends Rebels To NYC

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - There have been times this season when Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy questioned his team's thought process or shot selection. But, he has never questioned his team's resiliency.

That was never more evident than Tuesday night as Ole Miss defeated Texas Tech 90-87 in two overtimes in the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament. 

"There are a lot of things we question. But after 34 games, there's one thing you can't question and that's the resolve of this team," Kennedy said. "I know people will say it's just the NIT, but at this stage when you get down to win or go home, you could see how much it meant to them."

Murphy Holloway converted a three-point play, a layup and bonus free throw, with three seconds left to provide the winning margin for the Rebels (24-10). The win improved Ole Miss to 11-1 in NIT home games and earned a semifinal match against the Illinois-Dayton winner on Tuesday in Madison Square Garden. 

"We're resilient and we aren't going to stop playing hard regardless," Holloway said. "It's all fun when you win, so tonight's it's fun. But this was a great game by both teams."

Ole Miss will be making its second appearance in the past three seasons in the Final Four of the NIT. The Rebels have won seven of the last eight games and completed a three-game NIT home sweep - Troy, Memphis, Texas Tech.

Texas Tech (19-16) had opportunities to win in regulation and in the first overtime with the final shot, but in both cases did not convert. The Red Raiders had a 68-59 lead with two minutes remaining in regulation before the Rebels forced the first overtime at 68-68.

"You saw two teams tonight that were proud to be in the NIT and it was a hell of a game," Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said. "Our kids have been unbelievable with the way they've hung in there and finished the season the way we did."

The Red Raiders trailed throughout the second overtime before tying the game at 87-87 on a three-point shot by David Tairu with 8.7 seconds left. That set up Holloway's game-winning play.

Chris Warren, who had the game-winning assist, led the Rebels with 22 points. Terrico White and Holloway scored 17 points apiece, while Zach Graham added 10. The Rebels were 19 of 31 from the free throw line but converted 11 of their last 12 attempts in the two extra periods.

Mike Singletary led the Red Raiders with 28 points, while Brad Reese added 14, all in the second half. D'walyn Roberts scored 12 points and had a game-high 17 rebounds while Darko Coahdarevic had 10 points and 10 rebounds.


 

 

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