The Ole Miss men’s basketball team found itself in back-to-back overtime games in the same week and suffered another hard-to-take loss Saturday, falling 83-80 to Virginia Tech.
“At the end of the day, obviously I am really disappointed,” Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy said. “We lose two overtime games in our own building, and we are right there [competitively]. We have had three losses this season, and we are right there in all of them.”
Ole Miss (4-3) had four different players score in double figures, as Terence Davis and Breein Tyree both netted 17 points, Marcus Crawford added 13 and Deandre Burnett found the bucket for 11 points of his own.
“Usually in the second half, their shot selection is a little better because I can bark in their ear,” Kennedy said. “(Davis) was right in front of me. He was just trying to make a play. He puts a lot of pressure on himself, and sometimes our decision-making leaves something to be desired. Maybe that is my fault; maybe I give them too much freedom and need to structure it a little more so that some of it is out of their hands.”
In the first 20 minutes of play the Rebels were on fire from beyond the arc, cashing in a total of seven three-pointers.
Ole Miss would take a 39-29 lead into the locker room at the half.
After the break, the Rebels expanded that lead at one point to a 15-point advantage, but the Hokies did not stay down long. As time was running out in regulation play, they took their first lead at 72-68 after making a couple of back-to-back buckets, but Ole Miss knotted the game up at 72 apiece before the buzzer.
In overtime the two teams continued to trade buckets until Virginia Tech went up by three and the Rebels could not find an answer.
“At the end of the day, you have to make plays,” Kennedy said. “To Virginia Tech’s credit, they were down 47-32, and they just started putting their head down and driving to the basket. They ended up making more free throws than we attempted – we just gave them opportunity after opportunity and couldn’t get it done.”
“We were down 15 after being down 10 at half,” Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams said. “I thought we started great, and then consecutive possessions were bad. The pace of the second half relative to possessions was slightly slower than the first half. “
Virginia Tech held the Rebels at bay in scoring as they shot 39.7 percent from the field in the game. The Hokies shot 43.9 percent on the night.
Ole Miss returns to action next Saturday at Middle Tennessee at 5 p.m.
By Adam Brown, sports editor HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at email@example.com