Late Vanderbilt run sends Ole Miss to 5th loss in a row
Feb. 4—With the Ole Miss men's basketball team once again locked in a tight matchup Saturday afternoon, Vanderbilt used a late 10-0 run to get by the Rebels 74-71.
Ole Miss (9-14, 1-9) has lost five-straight games and 11 of 12 overall.
Ole Miss trailed 62-61 with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left in the second half following a three-point play from senior forward Myles Burns but did not score again until there were 49 seconds left to play.
Vanderbilt led by 11 at that point, though Ole Miss did score the game's final four points. The game had 20 lead changes, but the Rebels led for just 6 minutes, 27 seconds.
Junior forward Jaemyn Brakefield led Ole Miss with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Burns scored 12 points going 4 of 6 from the field.
Junior guard Matt Murrell was back after missing the last three games with a knee injury. He entered the game for the first time about five minutes into the first half and finished with 10 points.
Freshman guards Amaree Abram and T.J. Caldwell each had their moments as well, with the former scoring all eight of his points in the first half and the latter scoring all nine of his in the second.
A combined 26 second-half points from Caldwell, Burns and Murrell weren't enough to overcome a late scoring drought with the game hanging in the balance, however. Burns' and-one looked like it was going to breathe life back into Ole Miss; instead, it was the last points the Rebels would score for more than three and a half minutes.
Vanderbilt (11-12, 4-6) shot 52% from the field in the second half compared to 38% for the Rebels.
"We just have these two-minute lapses," Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. "And we had them tonight. I thought we got great shots throughout the game. Great shots. I thought Vanderbilt capitalized on some shots they had. We didn't."
A 2 for 13 stretch from Vanderbilt in the first allowed Ole Miss to take an early lead 16-14 before the Commodores tied the game with just under eight left in the half. The first half featured 12 lead changes and saw both teams shoot under 37% from the field.
Brakefield scored eight points in the first half, and his 3-pointer at the 42 seconds mark cut a six-point Commodores lead to three.
The Rebels turned a 34-31 halftime deficit into a 42-31 lead on a 3-pointer from Murrell with 14:28 left in the second, part of an 11-2 run that started with Ole Miss down six and ended with them up three.
The game continued to go back and forth until Vanderbilt's decisive surge, a stretch where Myles Stute and Trey Thomas each hit a dagger 3-pointer.
Center Liam Robbins led the Commodores with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Guard Tyrin Lawrence scored 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field with 10 of those points coming in the second half.
Ole Miss plays at Georgia Tuesday night. Tipoff is 6 p.m. on SEC Network.
MICHAEL KATZ is the Ole Miss athletics reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.