At least there’s variety.
For the second time this week the Rebels were tied on the road in the final-seconds, and for the second time the home team’s winning points come with less than 2 seconds on the clock.
It wasn’t a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. This time it was it Charles Mann’s free throw with 1.5 seconds left.
The Georgia guard had 17 points and was 12-for-16 at the free throw line. He had two chances to make one shot after getting Ole Miss freshman Dwight Coleby off his feet in the lane.
The irony here is that Coleby has often been unable to stay on the floor for any length of time because of fouls. He started and played 21 minutes, and the foul on Mann was only his second.
Coleby was effective rebounding and altering shots but got more done in the first half than in the second.
It seems strange to say anyone was effective rebounding when the Rebels were minus-15 on the glass, but Coleby had six boards, all in the first half. He played only seven minutes in the second half.
No matter who was in the game Ole Miss gave up offensive rebounds. Georgia had 18 of them and 20 second-chance points.
Aaron Jones had six rebounds to share with team lead with Coleby. Georgia had four players with at least that many.
Among the second-shot opportunities was the fifth and final 3-pointer of the game from Georgia’s Kenny Gaines. It came after the Rebels were unable to corral a 3-point miss by Georgia’s Nemanja Djurisic and gave the Bulldogs a 60-57 lead with 46.2 seconds left.
Gaines was all over Marshall Henderson on the other end, but Jarvis Summers got into the lane and converting a three-point play.
Unfortunately, the Rebels again ended up on the wrong side of the shot clock for the final possession.
Georgia coach Mark Fox got the ball in Mann’s hands, and the chances were good that he’d get fouled. It had happened many times previously.
That he ended up matched on Coleby was unfortunate, because Coleby had played well, and because it matched an experienced Georgia player against an inexperienced Ole Miss one.
Gaines was the big key for Georgia in the second half. He was limited to seven minutes with foul trouble when he scored only one bucket in the first half.
He finished with 21 points, knocking down good looks against the Ole Miss zone.
There weren’t always good looks given up by the Rebels. Ole Miss held Georgia to 32.7 percent shooting, but if you’re only going to shoot 32.2 percent on the road, that’s a wash when you go minus-15 on the glass.
Marshall Henderson did not start the game. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said that was because he wanted to change Henderson’s “mojo” with regard to his shooting success on the road.
Looks like it worked. Henderson was 5-for-11 from 3-point range for a game-high 24 points. He was 4-for-6 from the arc in the first half.
For the second time this week Ole Miss had a shot to win at the end but Kennedy told his players they didn’t “deserve” to win. Too many short-comings in the post right now, and today that extended to the backcourt. Summers had a clutch 3-point play at the end, but he was just 4-for-12 from the field for 11 points, the only other Ole Miss player in double figures.
When you lose by a single point there are a number of plays that could have changed the game in your favor. Going 16-for-26 at the free throw line isn’t helpful, but what stands out to me most is the number of shots Ole Miss big — or sometimes a guard — missed at point blank range, right at the rim.
I’ve used the word physicality, Kennedy used the word toughness.
Just not enough toughness with this team right now.
Marshall Henderson didn’t start – We’ll see what Andy Kennedy has to stay about that afterward – but was hot off the bench going 4-for-6 from 3 in the first half and leads all scorers with 14 points.
Freshman center Dwight Coleby was a surprise starter and has had a decent half without fouling much, which has been his chief drawback.
Georgia is plus-6 on the glass, but things could be worse without Coleby’s six boards. He’s altered Georgia shots in the lane and committed just one foul in 14 minutes.
He has four points on 2-for-6 shooting, which is part of the first-half problem, not just Coleby’s.
The Rebels had an 11-point lead and were in position to finish strong but missed several opportunities to score right at the rim. Bad misses.
Not much from Jarvis Summers in the first half. Two points on 1-for-5 shooting, three assists and two fouls.
It’s not bad to be five points up when you’re shooting only 32.3 percent. The Rebels are there, because they’ve held Georgia to 30.4 percent shooting with a mix of defenses.
Until the Rebels got hot at the end, last year seemed to be a series of “bad losses” that bracketologists believed would keep Ole Miss out of the NCAA tournament.
You know the rest of the story, but even that hot finish won’t hold off this year’s speculation.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi offered the opinion that Ole Miss’ loss at Alabama really didn’t change things regarding their resume, but that a split this week and next was pretty much a must.
It’s Georgia at 3 p.m. today, and Florida and Kentucky next week.
Ole Miss at Georgia
Tip: 3 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net
Radio: Ole Miss Network, Sirius 117, XM 200.
Series: Georgia leads 66-41.
Last Meeting: Ole Miss won 84-74 in overtime in Oxford last February.
Coaches: Georgia, Mark Fox – 201-116, 10th season, 78-73 fifth season at Georgia; Ole Miss – Andy Kennedy, 189-108, ninth season, 168-95, eighth season at Ole Miss.
Notes: Ole Miss has won three straight at Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum. … Marshall Henderson’s streak of games with at least one 3-pointer is now at 57. That’s every game for his Ole Miss career. … After shooting at least 50 percent from the floor for five-straight games, Ole Miss G Jarvis Summers is 11-for-34 (32.3 percent) over his last three games. … Georgia is 5-1 in SEC home games. … Ole Miss G LaDarius White has scored in double figures in four straight games and six of seven. … Georgia freshman guard Kenny Paul Geno starred at Booneville last year. He played 14 minutes – more than three times his average – and had six points and two rebounds in Georgia’s win at Mississippi State this week. … Georgia shot only 34.8 percent from the floor in the first half at MSU but shot 73.9 percent in the second, much of that in the paint.
Georgia 13-10, 7-4 SEC
F Marcus Thornton 6-8 Jr. 7.6 5.9
F Donte’ Williams 6-9 Sr. 5.7 5.5
F Brandon Morris 6-7 So. 9.5 1.5
G Charles Mann 6-5 So. 13.7 3.0
G Kenny Gaines 6-3 So. 11.6 2.6
G Juwan Parker 6-4 Fr. 4.9 3.5
F Demanja Djurisic 6-8 Jr. 9.9 4.2
* – Assists
Ole Miss 16-8, 7-4 SEC
F Aaron Jones 6-9 Jr. 6.6 7.0
F Sebastian Saiz 6-9 Fr. 5.1 6.1
F Anthony Perez 6-9 So. 6.9 3.1
G Marshall Henderson 6-2 Sr. 19.3 2.3*
G Jarvis Summers 6-3 Jr. 17.0. 3.8*
G Derrick Millinghaus 5-10 So. 7.9 2.4*
G LaDarius White 6-6 Jr. 8.4 3.5
- - Assists