Ole Miss Men's Basketball Beats No. 14 Oklahoma, 60-55
Dec. 2, 2000
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi had won 299 games at Tad Smith Coliseum since it opened in 1966.
The 300th victory was special.
Freshman Aaron Harper scored 18 points as Mississippi upset No. 14 Oklahoma 60-55 on Saturday night for its 39th straight home victory over a nonconference opponent.
"This was one of the biggest in the history of this place," Mississippi coach Rod Barnes said. "This is huge. It's the kind of win, especially for a young team like ours, that makes a statement about what type of team we are and can be."
Harper hit four 3-pointers and shot 6-for-6 from the line as the Rebels won their fifth straight. Ole Miss has opened the season with five straight victories for the second consecutive year.
"I'm capable of hitting those shots. I was a zone buster in high school," said Harper, who shot 4-for-5 from behind the arc. "I was 1-of-7 in our last game, but Coach Barnes told me to keep taking good shots and they'd fall. Tonight, that's what happened."
The Rebels' home winning streak against nonconference foes is the nation's third longest current streak, trailing Maryland (72) and Penn State (49).
Nolan Johnson led Oklahoma (4-1) with 12 points. Daryan Selvy had 11 points and seven rebounds and Aaron McGhee added 10 points for the Sooners.
"They forced us out of our offense. Their pressure was good and that was evident, especially at the guard slots," Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. "Really, they exposed our guard play."
Ole Miss trailed by just one at the half, despite shooting just 42 percent from the field. The Rebels shot 61 percent from the field in the second half.
Ole Miss got 32 points from its reserves and shot 9-for-11 from the line in
the final three minutes, including the final two by Harper, to seal the win.
The Sooners closed the first half with a 7-3 run for a 25-24 lead. Johnson keyed the run with a pair of baskets. Oklahoma shot well in the first half, hitting 11-of-20 from the field, but committed 10 turnovers.
The clubs played evenly in the opening 14 minutes of the second half until Ole Miss built a 47-42 lead with 5:41 left. Reserve point guard Jason Harrison pushed the Rebels in front on a layup and a 3-pointer.
"I had the looks, offensively, and just filled a passing lane defensively," said the 5-6 junior. "Our bench really provided the spark."
Oklahoma took its final lead with six straight points for a 48-47 edge with 4:19 left. The Sooners managed only two baskets and had two turnovers down the stretch.
"We did not have the mental toughness and never got control of the game," Sampson said. "Our defense was not good enough. We did not play smart. We could not find a rhythm."
McGhee tied the game at 53 on a dunk with 1:54 left.
Harrison gave Ole Miss a lead it never surrendered with three consecutive free throws and a steal.
The Rebels sealed the win with a layup by Sanders, and a steal and two free throws by Harper.
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