Dec. 31, 2017
Men's Basketball at Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Deandre Burnett scored 18 points and Mississippi converted eight consecutive free throws in the final 90 seconds to defeat South Carolina 74-69 in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams Sunday.
Markel Crawford and Bruce Stevens added 17 and 10 points, respectively, for the Rebels (8-5). Burnett hit consecutive three-point shots to highlight a 16-6 run and build a 61-55 lead with 6:23 left. Ole Miss closed it at the free throw line, hitting 20 of 23 (87 percent) in the second half.
Chris Silva had 21 points and 13 rebounds for South Carolina (9-4), but was hampered by foul trouble during the decisive Ole Miss surge.
Frank Booker added 21 points, hitting 6 of 10 from the 3-point line.
Ole Miss was 20 of 49 (41 percent) from the field, 8 of 21 (38 percent) from 3-point range and 26 of 33 (78 percent) from the free throw line.
The Rebels forced 14 turnovers and blocked seven shots.
South Carolina finished 22 of 58 (38 percent) from the field, but managed only 10 of 34 apart from Silva and Booker. The Gamecocks were 8 of 20 (40 percent) from the 3-point line and 17 of 26 (65 percent) from the free throw line. The Gamecocks won the rebound battle, 43-30, including 14 offensive boards.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks were in position to win an SEC road opener, heading into the final 10 minutes, but could not slow down the Ole Miss guards in the stretch run. The Gamecocks had consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes and were unable to get closer than three points. Wesley Myers had a team-high five assists.
Ole Miss: The Rebels proved they could win without a strong performance from leading scorer Terence Davis, who played only 19 minutes and finished with four points. Marcanvis Hymon had a blocked shot and Crawford added a crucial steal on consecutive possessions inside the final 90 seconds to preserve the win. The Rebels have won four of the last five games.
Ole Miss was clutch at the charity stripe, especially down the stretch. The Rebels missed just three free throws the entire second half (20-for-23, 87 percent).
South Carolina returns home for two straight SEC matchups, first against Missouri (Jan. 3/9 PM), before hosting Vanderbilt (Jan. 6/6:45 PM).
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