Oxford, Miss. – Tennessee led for much of the game, but No. 23 Ole Miss scored nine of the final 12 points to pull out a 62-56 victory on Thursday night. The win kept the Rebels (16-2, 5-0 SEC) perfect at the Tad Smith Coliseum (11-0).
The Vols (9-8, 1-4) remaining winless on the road at 0-5.
The SEC’s top two scorers dueled it out with Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson scoring 24 of of his game-high 28 points in the second half. Tennessee’s Jordan McRae tied his career-high with 26 points for the third time in six games.
Henderson knocked down six 3-pointers in the second half to lift the Rebels to a season sweep of the Vols. He scored 32 in the first meeting on Jan. 9, a 92-74 Ole Miss win in Knoxville.
With the game tied at 53 with just over four minutes left, Henderson knocked down on a 3-pointer to put the Rebels up 56-53. Then Ole Miss converted a UT turnover in a fastbreak layup by Reginald Buckner with 3:40 left giving Ole Miss a 58-53 lead.
McRae tied his previous career-high on a 3-pointer with 3:15 left, making it 58-56 Ole Miss. He had a chance to tie the game with 2:32 left, but missed a pair of free throws. Tennessee could have tied the game again with 1:01 left after McRae drew and offensive foul, but Armani Moore missed two more free throws.
Ole Miss’ Aaron Jones was fouled on the rebound of Moore’s second miss and he missed the first of two to extend Ole Miss’ lead to 59-56.
McRae and Golden (11 points) each attempted 3-pointers with less than 45 seconds left, but were unable to convert.
Henderson made a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left putting Ole Miss up 61-56. Jones added one more foul shot for the final.
A putback-and-1 by Jarnell Stokes with 7:02 left in regulation put the Vols ahead 50-44. Ole Miss got back to within one on a Henderson 3-pointer, but Golden answered with a trey seconds later to keep UT ahead by four at 53-49. But Henderson came right back with his fifth 3-pointer of the night, cutting the margin back to one, 53-52 with five minutes left.
The Vols went on an 11-2 run thanks to nine consecutive made free throws to take a 46-40 lead with 8:51 left in the game. McRae scored 10 of the 11 points in the spurt — including 8-of-8 from the line.
After missing his first five field goals, Henderson knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Vols’ lead to 31-30 with 15 minutes left. Ole Miss regained its first lead since 5-4, at 33-32 on a 3-pointer by Nick Williams with 14:40 left. Henderson canned another trey to extend the Rebels’ run to 16-3 over five minutes. Josh Richardson ended the run with a driving 3-point play — his only points on the night — brining the Vols back within one at 36-35.
The Vols led 25-18 at halftime, limiting the Rebels to their fewest points in any half this season (the previous low was 29). Tennessee’s defense held Ole Miss to just 4-of-23 from the floor for 17.4 percent. Henderson was limited to four points, all on free throws. He was 0-of-4 from the floor.
The Vols outrebounded the Rebels 26-15 in the first half and outscored Ole Miss, 16-4 in the paint.
Tennessee held Ole Miss without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes before a Williams’ jumper with 6:10 left in the half, cutting the Rebels’ deficit to 21-14. The Vois took a 21-12 lead on a pair of free throws by McRae just seconds prior. Ole Miss began the game just 2-of-16 from the floor and missed all seven of its 3-point attempts in the first half.
Similar to the first meeting 15 days prior, Ole Miss paraded to the free throw line early and often. The Rebels attempted 15 free throws in the first half, but made just eight. Ole Miss was 38-of-44 from the foul line back on Jan.9 for 86.4 percent.
Former Vols star and current Brooklyn Net C.J. Watson sat behind the Vols bench in Oxford. His Nets play in Memphis on Friday.
The Vols have a very quick turnaround as Tennessee will take on Alabama, Saturday at 2:00 PM.
Courtesy UT Media Relations