Not since 2009 have the Ole Miss Rebels won a basketball game in Starkville, and last night's contest extended that streak to five years. The Rebs fell to the Mississippi State Bulldogs 76-72 in what was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Rebels relinquish the lead for good with just under two minutes to play.
Jarvis Summers led the Rebels with 23 points, followed by a surprisingly resurgent Snoop White with 16. Derek Millinghaus put together perhaps the most complete game for the Rebs, scoring 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Big men Aaron Jones and Sebastian Saiz led the Rebs in rebound with 9 and 7, respectively.
Still, it wouldn't be enough, as Jarvis Summer's three-point ball to tie the game at 72 with just over a minute to go would be all the Rebels would score. State would pull ahead with a strong finish at the line (The Bulldogs attempted thirty more free throw attempts than the Rebs, yesterday. Cue the conspiracy theorists!), and the Rebels would doom themselves with missed shots and turnovers. Both teams are currently 1-1 in the SEC.
This, along with the loss to Mercer, probably serves as a major RPI killer capable of keeping the Rebels on the wrong side of the bubble come March. And while it is far too easy to say such a thing for certain, it is safe to presume that this team simply isn't an NCAA postseason-worthy team at this point. There's talent, but there's also youth and terrible inconsistency.
Still, there's a lot of basketball to be played, and with Marshall Henderson returning to the floor - oh yeah, that's something we didn't mention earlier - the Rebels should be a competitive out against most, if not all, SEC teams.
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