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Ole Miss continues its slide, loses 81-75 to Mississippi State

Turns out, not scoring in the final three minutes is bad!

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi State at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

In a contest that featured both team’s abilities to not extend a lead, it was Mississippi State that managed to have the most points at the end of 2019 Egg Bowl Basketball Volume II, winning 81-75. The Bulldogs, thanks to a 40-28 rebound advantage and 19 second-chance points, never let Ole Miss get too far away from them, eventually reeling in the Rebels with just under 10 minutes to play, as they took the lead and kept it for the remainder of the game.

Ole Miss, which spent most of the day having an outstanding day on the offensive side of the floor, saw that smoothly operating machine drive off a cliff in the last 12 minutes of the game. From the 12-minute mark on, Ole Miss scored only 16 points. In fact, the Rebels’ last made field goal was with 3:53 to play, and they didn’t score in the final three minutes of the game, which, as you would expect, is a 10 out of 10 in NOT GREAT, BOBs.

Because I enjoy staring into the abyss of pain and suffering, here is a rundown of Ole Miss’ possessions after the final made field goal:

  • Missed three, offensive rebound, two made free throws
  • Missed layup
  • Turnover
  • Missed jumper
  • Missed jumper
  • Missed three
  • Missed three
  • Missed jumper

Just a tad bit of blood on the floor, walls, ceiling, and attic.

If you’re scoring at home, and I know you are, Ole Miss has now lost five of its last six, with three of those losses coming at home. After such a surprising start to the season, the Rebels’ issues are repeatedly catching up to them and not likely to go away, which means they’ve settled into the You Are Who You Are portion of the season.

Ole Miss lacks depth and size, particularly in the front court, and there’s no cheatin’ Bears code for getting around that. Even on an afternoon like Saturday when the Rebels’ top three guards, Terence Davis, Breein Tyree, and Devontae Shuler, combined for 54 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists, it wasn’t enough against a team with size.

For Ole Miss to keep the NCAA Tournament dream alive, they have to get some production out of all three front court players. One positive in that department today was that Bruce Stevens woke up and scored 13 points. But combined, Stevens, Dominik Olejniczak, and KJ Buffen produced 14 points and five rebounds (zero defensive rebounds for Stevens and Olejniczak). That, as they like to say, can’t happen.

If Ole Miss doesn’t consistently manufacture points and rebounds in the post, they’re going to have to rely on super-human games from Davis, Tyree, and Shuler for the next month and change, which is very much not ideal. But even if those three have a great February and early March, it may only be enough to host a first-round NIT game.