No. 15 Ole Miss Gets By Defending Champs 89-87
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Dwayne Curtis had 20 points and 12 rebounds, freshman Trevor Gaskins scored 19 points and No. 15 Ole Miss snapped a six-game losing streak to Florida with an 89-87 victory Wednesday night.
The Gators (15-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) had no answer for the wide-bodied Curtis, who was a force for the Rebels (15-1, 2-1) as they tried to put away Florida late. Curtis hit two free throws to ice the game, though the Rebels had a nervous moment as Nick Calathes cut their lead to two with a 3-pointer in the waning seconds.
Gaskins stole the focus from the much-anticipated matchup between freshman guards Chris Warren of Ole Miss and Calathes. He hit three 3-pointers and scored eight points during a 19-5 run midway through the second half that gave the Rebels the cushion they needed to win.
It was the first win for Ole Miss against the two-time defending national champions since 2002 and the Rebels are off to their best start since they started 16-1 in 1925-26.
Calathes and Dan Werner led Florida with 16 points apiece, and Chandler Parsons added 15.
The Rebels used a 17-1 run to take a 21-12 lead midway through the first half. Ole Miss held Florida without a field goal for 6:06 during the run, forcing four turnovers, and the Gators missed eight shots.
Ole Miss would never trail again, but had to withstand several runs by Florida. The Gators scored eight straight points to get within 43-34 at halftime.
They started the second half holding Ole Miss without a field goal for 3:02. That cut the lead to 43-38, but the Rebels answered and built their biggest lead of the game with a 19-5 run that made it 59-43 with 12:40 left. Gaskins hit two 3-pointers and a short jumper during the run.
The Gators threatened several times the rest of the way and the Rebels helped them back into the game by making just eight of their last 17 free throw attempts.
The combination of Curtis and Kenny Williams was too much for Florida, however.
They held Florida's second-leading scorer, Marreese Speights, to four points, 10 below his average. And after allowing Dan Werner to score 13 first-half points, they held him to three in the second half.
Warren finished with eight points and 10 assists for the Rebels and Eniel Polynice had 14 points.
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