Rebels Fall Flat In Second Half

FAYETTEVILLE -- Not even 30 seconds into the second half, Andy Kennedy barked to the officials, asking for a timeout.

The bark he gave his team immediately after was much worse.

"(The timeout) was just to check our guy's mentality a little bit and let them know they better man up or this thing was going to get away from us," Kennedy said. "I've been in a few of these on both sides and I could sense that if we did not do the things we were supposed to, this was going to get away from you."

Kennedy's senses were right on.

While his Ole Miss Rebels managed to rally from an early deficit to pull within 39-38 of host Arkansas by the intermission, the final 20 minutes were a different story in the Razorbacks' 83-66 win Saturday.

It's one Kennedy could see coming not even a minute into the second half.

"I think it snowballed a bit," Kennedy said. "For our team, I think we've been playing pretty well and we've been really maturing and making sound decisions.

"I thought obviously we started the game a little (lackadaisical) and (Arkansas was) making every shot, but we got back in the game and for us to be down one at half, I told our guys I liked where we were sitting.

"In the second half, we came out and designed a play based on a matchup that we had perceived, that wasn't there. I was hoping that our veteran guys would make an adjustment and they didn't and then we were a step slow on (Patrick) Beverly and all of a sudden it compounded the problem by them extending the lead."

Then, Arkansas' lead just kept growing, and growing and growing some more.

By the time the dust settled on a 15-2 run to start the second half -- and later another 13-0 Razorbacks' run to completely blow things wide open -- it was clear Kennedy's barking orders right after the halftime break were not taken the way he had hoped.

"We answered them with buckets in the first half, but when they went on a run in the second half we just didn't make shots," Ole Miss point guard Todd Abernethy said. "I think we just kind of settled for outside shots instead of working it around and getting it down low.

"(Arkansas) played a great second half. They were stroking the ball and we weren't hitting and obviously when you get down, it's hard to work your way out of it."

"I thought for us, we panicked a little bit. Maybe panic is not the appropriate word, but I really thought we rushed. They had us down 10, 12, 14 points, but there was an eternity left in the game. And I thought we took some really, really ill-advissed shots which led to our demise."

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