The Ole Miss Rebels displayed their resilience Wednesday night in a back and fourth SEC matchup in Columbia, Missouri, defeating the Mizzou Tigers 76-73.
It did not take long for the Rebels’ point guard Stefan Moody to bounce back from his season low of 10 points against Kansas State. Moody seemed to be everywhere on the floor Wednesday night, and not just because he was two minutes shy of playing the entire contest. Moody led the Rebels in every major facet of the game, putting up twenty-three points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
A mid-range jumper by Moody put the Rebels up 18-16 just under the ten-minute mark in the first half. Ole Miss than began to make a run, with fast break baskets and three-pointers. Steals also fueled the run for the Rebels, who average eight steals a game, which leads the SEC.
Moody’s energy seemed to spread through the Rebel squad, mainly to the three-point line. Forward Tomasz Gielo and guard Rasheed Brooks both made four three-pointers throughout the contest, taking advantage of a Missouri team who struggled the entire night defending the three-point line.
The Missouri Tigers came into the second half taking their turn at firing from the three-point line, making seven shots from behind the arc.
The Tiger’s success from long range probably wasn’t expected by Ole Miss, being that the Missouri Tigers are the worst statistically in the SEC from the three-point line.
The ten-minute mark again seemed to be significant, because from then on the two teams frequently traded leads and neither could surpass a lead of five points the rest of the second half.
With 1:50 left in the contest, Missouri forward Kevin Puryear dunked the ball to give Missouri their largest lead of the second half.
Instead of stock, the Rebels showed poise.
Tomasz Gielo became the Rebel’s shoulder to lean on. After the Puryear dunk, Gielo made two back-to-back threes to pull the Rebels within one.
The Rebels secured their victory with four clutch free throws by Stefan Moody and Martavious Newby in the final thirteen seconds.
A Look Ahead:
Ole Miss will face Vanderbilt (12-9, 4-4 SEC) at the Pavilion Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. CT. The Rebels will have to defend the three-point line well against a Vanderbilt team who is second overall in the SEC at three-pointers made, making 40 percent for the season.
The Rebels are now 14-8 and added an important SEC win to give them a 4-5 record in the conference. They are in the middle of the pack as 8th in the conference, and will finish out the regular season only against SEC opponents.
Jack Olstad is a journalism student at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.