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Rebels Drop Overtime Heartbreaker in Season Opener

 Newby lead the Rebels in scoring. Photo by Joshua McCoy Ole Miss Athletics
Newby lead the Rebels in scoring. Photo by Joshua McCoy Ole Miss Athletics
Trailing for much of the game, Ole Miss went ahead 65-64 with 1:06 left in overtime on a 3-pointer from LaDarius White.
Ole Miss had the ball, up one with a six second difference in shot clock and game clock before turning the ball over out of bounds, giving the ball back to Charleston Southern with 8.2 seconds left.
In a furious finish, Saah Nimley missed the initial layup, but Cedrick Bowen followed with a tip-dunk with 0.1 seconds to give Charleston Southern a 66-65 overtime win in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
“We’re obviously all very disappointed,” Kennedy said. “It’s the first game of a long season. For us to be as inefficient as we were throughout the course of the game, we were very fortunate to be in the game.”
Ole Miss was not able to overcome an inefficient offensive performance, as they went 19-of-63 from the field and 6-of-30 from 3-point range with 17 turnovers. The Rebels were also outrebounded 54-50, including 19-16 on the offensive glass.
“Rebounding continues to be a huge nemesis for us,” Kennedy said. “Rebounding was our undoing, as it should have been. They played well enough to win the game.”
Martavious Newby led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds, one point shy of his career high. He was also efficient, going 4-for-5 from the field, 2-for-2 from 3-point range and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
“He was our MVP tonight because of his toughness,” Kennedy said. “He made shots for us, but his toughness is what got us back in the game. I hope that can become more contagious and spread throughout our team. That’s something we’re lacking in a lot of areas.
Newby was joined in double figures by senior M.J. Rhett, who scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds in his Ole Miss debut. White and Jarvis Summers, who fouled out with 2:06 left in regulation, added eight points each for the Rebels.
Down 29-17 at halftime, Ole Miss rallied in the second half behind some timely baskets by Newby and Rhett, tying the game at 54-54 with 3:24 left on a jumper from Rhett.
Charleston Southern went back ahead 57-54 before Stefan Moody sent the game into overtime tied 57-57 on a runner in the lane with 16 seconds left, getting his ninth field goal attempt to go down after missing each of his first eight.
Friday night’s loss to Charleston Southern snapped a 10-game winning streak for Ole Miss in season openers, including the first loss in a season opener under Kennedy. The Rebels return to action, going on the road to play at Troy on Monday night.
“I have been doing this for 10 years, and I have never had one like this,” Kennedy said. “You have to do your best to learn from it. It’s easier said than done. It’s going to hurt. You want it to hurt. They were stunned in there. They should be.
“We have to go and try to get to 1-1 Monday night on the road. It’s another test in an away environment, which is something this team has never experience. We’ll see how they respond.”
–Ole Miss Sports Information

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