Rebels Storm Back But Fall Short at Vanderbilt

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Clutch foul shooting down the stretch helped Vanderbilt hold off a furious second-half Ole Miss rally as the Commodores prevailed 85-80 Saturday.

Vanderbilt (15-6, 5-2) hit seven-of-eight free throws in the game's final 2:22. Derrick Byars scored 19 points and three other Commodore players scored in double figures.

Ole Miss had six players score in double-figures, led by Bam Doyne's 22. Fifteen of Doynes' points game in the second half.

The Commodores jumped out to a 44-29 halftime lead, and led the entire way with the exception of a brief 4-2 Rebel advantage. Nine Commodores hit field goals, and Vandy shot 63 percent as a team during the half.

But Ole Miss (13-8, 2-5) stormed out of the locker room, scoring 31 points in the half's first 9:27, and took the lead when Clarence Sanders' 3 from the left corner gave the Rebels a 61-60 lead.

The game would stay tight the rest of the way.

Vandy took a 76-72 lead on Byars' layup from Ross Neltner, but back-to-back baskets by the Rebels' Todd Abernethy and Bam Doyne tied the game.

But Neltner hit both ends of a one-and-one at the 2:22 mark, and Vandy never trailed again.

Dan Cage (18 points), Shan Foster (14) and Neltner (10) helped Byars shoulder the scoring burden.

The four straight Southeastern Conference wins represent the longest streak by a Vandy team since the 1996-97 team won five in a row.

Ole Miss returns home to face rival Mississippi State in an ESPN "Super Tuesday" battle. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT, and a Rebel pep rally will be held outside Tad Smith Coliseum at 5:15.


 

 

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