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A Late Ole Miss Rally Falls Short in Overtime to Illinois State

Photo by Paul Keelaghan

The Ole Miss Rebels dropped a hard-fought game in overtime to the Illinois State Redbirds, losing 101-97 on Saturday afternoon inside the Pavilion.
Ole Miss (5-5) came back from an 18-point first-half deficit behind the play of Bruce Stevens, who scored 27 points in the game. A total of five Rebels scored in double figures against the Redbirds. Deandre Burnett cashed in 19 points, Terence Davis found the bucket for 17 points, and Breein Tryee scored 14 in the game.
But it wasn’t enough, lamented Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy. “We just have not been successful. Offensively, we have a lot of problems. We have lost three overtime games in this building (The Pavilion). The inability to make a play at the end – we didn’t finish. We still scored 97 points, still had 22 assists off of nine turnovers.”
At the half, Ole Miss trailed Illinois State by the score of 43-33.
The Rebels took their first lead in the game at 84-80 with 2:21 left in regulation, thanks to a three-pointer by Tryee. Illinois State would then go on a 7-2 run to force overtime.
In regulation play, the Redbirds were led by Milik Yarbrough with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. He was two assists away from a triple-double in the game prior to fouling out. Keyshawn Evans then took over, with a total of 25 points and 7 assists, to secure the win.
“Illinois State has their strengths and weaknesses as all teams do,” Kennedy said. “One of their inefficiencies to this point in the season is their rebounding margin, and they come into our building and beat us by eight on the glass. They get 17 offensive rebounds. We chart a thing called 50/50 balls, in essence meaning a ball lands in-between one of their players and one of ours and they have an equal chance of getting it. They got 15 of them, we got three.”
As overtime got underway, Evans broke the tie with a three-pointer, and the Rebels played from behind in the last five minutes of play.
Ole Miss and Illinois State both shot 42 percent from the field. The Rebels had trouble defending the Redbirds from beyond the arc at 42 percent, while ISU allowed Ole Miss to shoot 27 percent in the game.
The Rebels return to action on Tuesday night as they play host to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.


Adam Brown sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.

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