Ole Miss Downs Jacksonville State, 64-56
Dec. 22, 2003
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Justin Reed regained his scoring touch and Mississippi extended its winning streak.
Reed scored 21 points and Mississippi pulled away in the final five minutes Monday for a 64-56 victory over Jacksonville State.
The senior forward, who averages 18 points and 10 rebounds, had scored only 11 points in his previous two contests.
"I don't think the last two games were sub-par, but they were learning experiences," he said. "There are going to be some games when I won't get a lot of points, but we've got to find a way to win. We did that and tonight I was able to help us win by being able to score. The important thing for us is to win."
Reed broke out of his mini-slump by going 8-for-12 from the field while adding a game-high seven rebounds and three assists for the Rebels (5-3). Aaron Harper added 14 points, hitting 7-for-9 from the free throw line.
James Denson had 18 points, including 12 in the first half, to lead the Gamecocks (5-4).
Jacksonville State was within 47-46 with 5:49 left.
"Jacksonville State was well-prepared and they played hard," Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes said. "We expected that. It was good to get this win and keep building."
The Rebels outscored Jacksonville State 17-10 down the stretch to win their third straight game.
"I'm seeing glimpses of this team coming together and getting better. This isn't a team that can take anything for granted and we haven't," Barnes said. "We know we are going to be in a lot of close games and we aren't going to blow a lot of people out."
The clubs were tied 28-28 at halftime.
Ole Miss opened the second half with an 8-0 run. Reed's jumper capped the run with 17:30 left and Jacksonville State never led again.
The Gamecocks tied it 39-39 with 12 minutes left on Josh Perry's jumper, but Reed responded with consecutive baskets to rebuild the Ole Miss lead.
The Rebels put it away with a 7-1 run with four minutes remaining to go up 56-49.
Reed had a pair of baskets in the run and Harper hit his first 3-point shot to finish it.
Ole Miss hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final 45 seconds to preserve the win. The Rebels were 21-for-45 from the field, but only 4-for-17 from 3-point range.
Jacksonville State was hampered by 16 turnovers, including 11 in the second half.
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