Ole Miss defeats Tennessee

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 19, 2009

OXFORD (AP) — Terrico White scored 21 points, Murphy Holloway had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Mississippi beat Tennessee 81-65 on Wednesday night, further muddling the race for the Southeastern Conference title.

The Rebels (14-11, 5-6) held the Volunteers (16-9, 7-4) without a field goal for more than 5 minutes to take control and the SEC’s hottest shooting team hurt itself by missing 33 of 57 shots and 13 free throws.

Wayne Chism had 19 points and Tyler Smith added 16 to lead Tennessee, while David Huertas scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to boost Ole Miss.

Email newsletter signup

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Ole Miss and a two-game winning streak for Tennessee. The Volunteers had won four of their last five to move into a first-place tie in the SEC East and could have taken the lead with a win after South Carolina lost to Mississippi State on Wednesday and Kentucky fell to Vanderbilt Tuesday.

Ole Miss took control of the game by holding Tennessee without a field goal for 5:23 surrounding halftime for a 14-3 scoring advantage during that span. The Rebels shut down Tennessee for the final 3:50 of the first half and the first 1:53 of the second.

The Volunteers also limited themselves during that stretch with missed free throws. Tennessee failed to hit shots despite a distinct advantage at the free throw line in the first half, missing 5-of-11 shots and three of their last six to give Ole Miss a 34-32 halftime advantage.

Tennessee’s troubles continued after the break. The Volunteers took just two shots in the the first 5 1/2 minutes and missed their first five free throws. They were 11-of-24 overall and came away from the line with no points four times.

As the Vols floundered, Ole Miss extended its lead by outscoring Tennessee 16-3 out of halftime to make it 50-35 with 14:43 left. The run was fueled by four 3-pointers, including two from Zach Graham. The Volunteers never got closer than 10 and trailed by as much as 18. The final margin was Tennessee’s second most in defeat this season.

White scored 14 points in the first half despite foul trouble that kept him on the bench for several minutes. The Rebels also got a strong half from Holloway, who scored 10 and helped Ole Miss to a 21-13 rebound advantage with six.

They dominated under the basket throughout with a 44-30 rebounding advantage and a 42-36 scoring advantage in the paint.

The Volunteers entered the game averaging 50 percent from the floor on the road in the conference. But they finished at 42.1 percent (24-of-57), struggling from both the outside where they missed 18 of 24 3-point shots and inside where they found an aggressive defense led by Holloway and DeAndre Cranston.