A freshman reserve guard scored 11 of the Rebels last 15 points, including the game-winning shot, allowing Ole Miss to improve its NCAA resume and advance in the SEC Tournament.
While Marshall Henderson's brilliant second half performance netted him a total of 27 points on the night, he was not able to overcome the Missouri lead on his own. Enter Derek Millinghaus, a lightly used freshman out of New York, who would score 11 points late in the second half, and provide the other offensive spark necessary to lift the Rebs over Mizzou in a jaw-dropping finish in Nashville.
Literally nobody saw this coming, except for maybe Millinghaus himself, who used his reserve minutes wisely last night, playing with a drive and confidence seen out of few Rebels all year.
No, it was not pretty, and yes, Mizzou did a fantastic job of choking a lead away while turning the ball over, but good teams (and, sometimes, lucky teams) do capitalize on the mistakes of their opponents. Give the Rebs credit; they never gave up. It appeared that the Tigers couldn't be put away, with Missouri hitting big shots seemingly every time our Rebels closed the gap. But when they began to slip up late, Millinghaus and Henderson took control, earning an Ole Miss victory.
The Rebels will now play the Vanderbilt Commodores at 3:30 PM Eastern today. The 'Dores did the Rebs a favor last night, beating Kentucky, whose favor over the Rebs on the bubble was severely damaged by their loss. This is yet another game that could solidify the Rebels' March Madness chances, as a loss here might put us back in the same bubble position we were in 24 hours ago. A win, though, puts the Rebels in the SEC championship game and all but guarantees a postseason berth.