Ole Miss vs. Missouri: The Rebels Bolster Their NCAA Tournament Resume
Ole Miss and Missouri entered Saturday’s game as two of the most prolific three-point shooting teams in the SEC, in terms of both attempts and shooting percentage, and they did not disappoint by going a combined 25-for-57 from three-point range in the Rebels’ 91-88 win.
Marshall Henderson went 8-for-15 from the beyond the arc on his way to a game-high 29 points for Ole Miss, and Jarvis Summers and Ladarius White each chipped in 16 points. The Rebels also won the rebounding battle in the game (34-33), led by forwards Aaron Jones (seven points and 11 rebounds) and Sebastian Saiz (six points and 10 rebounds).
Missouri trailed by 15 at halftime, but the three-guard attack of Earnest Ross (24 points, six rebounds and four assists), Jordan Clarkson (23 points, five rebounds, three assists) and Jabari Brown (20 points, seven rebounds and four assists) led a rally that narrowed the deficit to two multiple times in the second half but ultimately fell short when Ross’s three-point attempt missed at the buzzer.
Ole Miss kept themselves in sole possession of third place in the conference with the win over Missouri, and they are now 7-3 in SEC play with a 16-7 overall record. Their next two games look winnable on the road against Alabama (9-14; 3-7 in conference play) and Georgia (12-10; 6-4 in conference play), but after that two critical home games will come against Kentucky (Feb. 18) and Florida (Feb.22).
The Rebels are in line for 20 or more regular season wins and an NCAA Tournament berth even if they are unable to beat the Wildcats and Gators, but if Henderson can play his typical aggressive style without playing out of control and inefficiently against two top-notch defensive teams an upset in one or both games is definitely possible.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.