Ole Miss Falls To Kentucky In SEC Tournament

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Despite Terrico White's 21 points, Ole Miss could not withstand a strong Kentucky second half, as the Wildcats prevailed 71-58 and advanced past the SEC Tournament first round Thursday.

Jodie Meeks scored 25 points and Patrick Patterson had 15 points and 14 rebounds to help Kentucky stop a four-game losing streak.

Ole Miss (16-15) was outscored 35-20 in the second half, when Meeks had 15 points and Kentucky shot 54 percent from the field (14 of 26) and played stifling defense that forced the flustered Rebels into 11 turnovers.

David Huertas came off the bench to score 15 for the Rebels after not starting because of a bone bruise in his left foot. Zach Graham, Murphy Holloway and Malcolm White each added six points.

The Wildcats (20-12) advanced to Friday's quarterfinals against No. 20 LSU and kept alive their hopes of extending their streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament to 18.

After losing four straight games to close the regular season, Kentucky likely needs to win its 26th conference tournament title this weekend to avoid missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991.

Ole Miss, which beat the Wildcats 85-80 at home on Jan. 27, has never beaten Kentucky twice in the same season. The Rebels were hoping a win or two in the conference tourney would enhance their chances of receiving a spot in the NIT.

Meeks made 9 of 15 shots and was 6-for-7 from the foul line after struggling against Ole Miss in the earlier meeting. Patterson was dominant inside, and the Wildcats also got increased production out of its supporting cast.

Perry Stevenson had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Darius Miller scored 12 off the bench and had two of Kentucky's 10 blocked shots.

Ole Miss led 38-36 at the half, however, an inability to take care of the basketball and keep White involved in the offense eventually took its toll. The SEC freshman of the year finished 7-for-13 after making five of his first seven shots and helping the Rebels answer every time Kentucky threatened to take control early.

The Rebels shot 32% from the field in the second half (7 of 22) and 43.8% (21 of 48) for the game.

 


 

 

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