First off, Ole Miss 74 - Alabama 67. That being over...
I listened to the entire first half of the game on the radio in my car. I was alone, and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. After calming myself long enough to find my telephone, I called Brian Walker's Elbow and vented. He was ready to give up as well. I wasn't watching on television at the time, but I would wager my life savings that the team looked lackadaisical. Over and over again, we would put up a prayer with 20 seconds left on the shot clock then struggle to get back on defense only to watch Alabama score on a high percentage shot. I can't remember the number of times I heard David Kellum say, "Uh oh. We're in a four on one situation." How does that happen so much? Laziness?
In case you missed the game, the score at the half was Alabama 40 - Ole Miss 20. I was disgusted. Alabama is not a good basketball team. They're not terrible, but they're not a team that should be capable of beating us by twenty points at the half. Bama is 13-10 on the season and 3-6 in the SEC. That's not very good.
Anyway, I was in rare form. I suggested that the season was over; We were going to fall downhill and lose a good number of games, perhaps not hitting the 20-win mark. I turned off the radio. I happened to be home and suggested to my wife that I was in a bad mood and wanted cheap death. Cozuela it was. Mmm.... eating dinner for two for less than ten dollars.
Curious, after filling myself with free chips and salsa and a three dollar chicken burrito, I sent a text to google with the words "NCAAB Mississippi". What I got back startled me. "Game in progress. Alabama Crimson Tide 56 - Mississippi Rebels 56."
"WHAT?", I said.
"What happened," asked my wife.
"It's tied. It's fifty-six to fifty-six."
At this point, my wife did something that reminded me just how lucky I am. As she was darting from the booth, I managed to hear something like, "TV at home." Having already paid, we literally ran to the car. She drove, and rolling stops were quite common on our trip back home.
By the time we got home, it was 61-56. Yeah I had missed pretty much the greatest comeback in Rebel basketball history.
So, that long story over with, I'll tell you my thoughts on the first half as well as statistics for the second half.
Hello Terrance Henry. Thanks for choosing Ole Miss. For any of our readers who didn't even know we played a basketball game yesterday, Terrance Henry made a difference. In the first half, we were settling for shots from the perimeter instead of driving to the basket and drawing fouls. Then second half Terrance Henry showed up, and that was no longer an issue. Henry shot nine free throws, making eight. That's huge. More than just the percentage, that means the Henry got the ball inside and made things happen. In other words, he did exactly what Andy Kennedy was screaming for during the entire first half. Henry also had eight rebounds in his 26 minutes, bringing his totals to 20 and 8. A career game for Henry.
Chris Warren wasn't too shabby either. After I dogged on him in the first half, he scored seventeen second half points, bringing his total to 20. He also attacked the basket, earning seven free throw attempts, making six.
The only other player on our team that really stood out was Murphy Holloway. Holloway only scored six points, but his seven rebounds and crucial block near the end of the game sealed it. He also registered three steals and seemed to be all over the ball on defense when I was listening/watching.
The Terrico-centric offensive plan didn't work out so well. White shot the ball nine times, connecting twice. Yeah. Six points. It wasn't for lack of trying. White shot the ball a good bit early, but his shots were off, and the coaches chose not to go back to the well. At this point, it would shock me if Terrico went pro after this season for any reason other than to get out of Oxford.
DeAundre Cranston barely played, but he did a good job in his limited time. As I've said, this is the role he needs. Give him 12-18 minutes a game, and let him be a change of pace.
Also, though Eniel Polynice suffered somewhat on offense, defensively he was excellent. Even on offense, he did some things to help the Rebs, getting to the line and creating fouls from Bama's best big, Jamychal Green.
Overall, I really hope this is what our offense will be doing for the rest of the year. The last thing we need is to learn nothing from this miracle. This can't be an anomaly. It has to be the norm.