Murphy Holloway scored 23 points as Ole Miss nipped it in the bud Sunday afternoon as they took the SEC championship from the Florida Gators in Nashville, TN.”I was just like, `Man, just make one”, said Holloway post game. He hit 1 of 2 free throws with 8 seconds remaining. More than 12,000 witnessed this upset. Final score, 66-63.
From the buzzer beater on Friday night to beat Missouri, to the thrashing on Saturday evening to end the Commodores’ hopes, the Rebels (26-8) have won seven of eight grabbing their first tournament title since 1981. Head coach Andy Kennedy was quoted as saying, “I was just glad to get the albatross that is the NCAA tournament off the neck of our program so people can now exhale and get a new focal point.” Marshall Henderson had 21 points for Ole Miss. Reginald Buckner added 11. The Rebels managed to win two straight games without point guard Jarvis Summers. The sophomore suffered a concussion in Friday night’s 64-62 win. Henderson was named the tournament MVP.
Florida (26-7) goes into the NCAA tournament 0-6 in games decided by six points or less.
The Gators had a final chance to force overtime as Kenny Boynton’s 3 pointer, missed at the buzzer. Mike Rosario led the Gators with 18 points. Boynton added 13. “The frustrating part for me was our defense,” said coach Donovan. Florida led 38-26 at halftime. The Gators missed eight of their first 10 shots to start the second half.
They also struggled from line, going 8-17. They missed their final five free throws to end the game. They shot just 37% from the field and were out rebounded 37 to 30.