Perhaps frustrated with the way the Ole Miss season has gone or wanting to make up for the 25 points he didn't get to score against Mississippi State in Starkville, Stefan Moody decided to make his Senior Night one to remember. Moody, in his final regular season game at The Pavilion, dropped a career-high 43 points, including six three-pointers, in an 86-78 win over Mississippi State.
Electing to take no prisoners in the first half, Moody piled up 24 points through the power of four three-pointers and 7-of-13 shooting from the field. While I could spend the same number of paragraphs as Moody's jersey number waxing poetic about his first 20 minutes, the video tells the story you need to know, while saving all of us a great deal of time.
(Please note that the move right before the fourth three-pointer will be copied and used on the next AND1 Mixtape.)
In the second half, Moody fell off the blistering pace he created earlier, probably to make all of the players on both teams feel better about their mortality, but still managed to score 19 in the final 20 minutes. A swell, considerate guy that Stefan Moody.
As for the other Ole Miss seniors, Anthony Perez, Martavious Newby, and Tomasz Gielo, they filled their roles quite well, combining for 23 points and 20 rebounds. But most importantly, all of the seniors got to close out the regular season home schedule with a win over their in-state rival.
Of course, it wasn't quite as easy as all of that sounded. Ole Miss struggled with turnovers (15) and containing Bulldog workhorse Gavin Ware, who finished with 28 points and 9 rebounds. However, the Rebels were able to make up for those deficiencies through Moody's performance (obvs) and a defense that forced 18 turnovers, while also holding State to 8-of-26 (30.7 percent) from behind the three-point line.
A flyby of three things we learned from tonight's Senior Night success:
1) Stefan Moody needs, at a minimum, five more years of eligibility.
This is a good idea for several reasons. 1) Because on nights like this when his insane shot selection is working out just fine, he's a joy to watch. 2) Having a 20-plus point scorer is always a plus. And 3) having one of the best players in the SEC on your team means you always have a chance.
Oh and 4) he gets David Kellum fired up.
2) HEY, SEC, HOW ABOUT A PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD FOR STEFAN MOODY?
I mean, the conference's leading scorer just finished with 43 points and 6 assists. Or did Ben Simmons put up a double-double in another game LSU shouldn't have lost?
3) Thank you to all of the seniors.
We all wish the season would've gone a different way, but this is where we are right now. We, as fans, often forget about all of the things that go on behind the curtain, which includes the staggering amount of time and work you put in to give us a competitive team for which to cheer.
Thank you again for that effort during your careers at Ole Miss. Now, on a final note, HOW ABOUT ANOTHER SEC TOURNAMENT RUN IN NASHVILLE?