Ole Miss hoops topped Mississippi State just barely, 87-82, on Tuesday.
Terence Davis has been this season’s hero, but what the fucking hell was he thinking on Tuesday night in Starkville? A stand-up ball possession change call with 10 seconds remaining in a two-point game isn’t a good look, especially when you ALREADY have possession. AND HE LOST THE DAMN POSSESSION TO FORCE OVERTIME. In probably the most Andy Kennedy Ole Miss game of all time, the Rebs lightly prevailed over the Bulldogs in a wholly unnecessary overtime by five points.
Ole Miss stumbled out to a slow start, going 0-for on their opening four possessions, including a bullshit basket interference penalty from Marcanvis Hymon that negated a dulcet Breein Tyree drive into the lane. Still, poor shooting from State and a timely three-pointer from Terence Davis and offensive rebound put-back from Sebastian Saiz pushed the Rebs back into it by the first media timeout, 9-7. Saiz nailed two free throws out of the break to tie things up at nine apiece and off they went again.
The pugilism continued into the middle of the period, which saw Cullen Neal drop a well timed three and Justas Furmanavicius attempt the game of basketball. MSU still struggled to find the basketball ring and with the score close at 12-11 Rebs, Ben Howland needed a timeout with just under 12 minutes remaining in the frame. By this time the night’s proceedings were thoroughly into track meet territory with only media timeouts to offer breathing stops.
Ole Miss defended but didn’t shoot well as the half progressed, and the evening’s dancing partners were locked into a 17-16 nightmare by the under-8 timeout, advantage Rebs. Saiz was a monster on the boards, ripping off four by that points, and collectively Ole Miss had drawn off nine offensive rebounds to the Bulldogs’ one.
Still, Ole Miss ran into something of a brick wall from there, going 0-12 over their next four minutes and, coupled with Saiz picking up his second foul, fell entirely asleep. Somebody must have scored to bring the score to 20-19 Bulldogs, but that’s still yet to be verified. In any case, blows were traded into recess — with State hitting a timely late three pointer — and the bad guys held a 25-23 lead into halftime.
Also, in reference to the final possession of the first half that went absolutely nowhere, [thinking face emoji].
A bunch of barking started things off in the second half, until Saiz completed a three-point play the old fashioned way and yet again the tug-o-war was on. Furmanavicius found himself some defense, and Neal yet again connected from range for some much-needed scoring help. That didn’t last for too long, though, as State answered back with a hoop and harm play to tie things up at 34 with 16 minutes to go.
A static few minutes then gave way to a pair of colossal Ole Miss dunks from Tyree and Saiz, who propelled the Rebs back into the lead, 43-41 with 12 minutes to go. Tyree’s effort, in particular, yielded an and-1 situation, and really you’ve just got to watch this shit.
Things stagnated from there, with neither team gaining separation into the under-8 timeout. In fact, a 45-45 game felt rather adequate for the night’s events, insofar as scoring came by way of very hard work on both ends. Howland needed a timeout with five to go and the score at 59-52 Rebs, but things were very much still in the balance.
Ole Miss pulled out a stringy lead with three minutes to go, but still the pests hung around to keep things close-ish, 63-58. Some free throws and a late three by State kept things close, and Davis’ complete blumber gave possession back to MSU. Terence, what you doing, fam?
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s proceedings in Starkville.
Where were the first half scorers?
In the first half, Davis, Burnett and Saiz combined to go 3-20 from the field. Granted, neither team could get going from the field, but taking a half off just because your in-state rival is too ain’t always a successful hoops strategy. Ole Miss went 8-33 to MSU’s 11-25, a pretty underwhelming effort from both sides, sure, but good grief, Rebs.
Some of these lineups are weird, man.
Saiz, Neal, Furmanavicius, Hymon and Burnett. The first can score but is struggling right now. The second is streaky as all hell. The third even moreso. The fourth, um. And the fifth still can’t gain full mobility. Who’s running the point? This is a recipe for disaster and it got burned more than once Tuesday.
Ole Miss has won just twice in Starkvegas in the past six seasons.
Yeah, that happened. Good job, boys. Never mind the technical fouls or whatever.
Ole Miss next plays Missouri in Oxford on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CT. Should be fun.