Rebels Rally to Knock Off Barbee's Tigers

Ole Miss made big plays down the stretch to hold off the Auburn basketball Tigers on Saturday night at the Tad Smith Coliseum.

Oxford, Miss.--Murphy Holloway sparked a second half run allowing Ole Miss to overcome an 11-point Auburn lead as the Rebels defeated Auburn 61-54 in an SEC basketball game on Saturday night.

With the Tigers up 39-28 with 15:25 remaining in the second half, Holloway scored 12 uncontested points to put Ole Miss on top.

The game was close the rest of the way. Ole Miss took the lead for good with two minutes left when Jarvis Summers stole a pass by Kenny Gabriel and scored on a fastbreak basket to put the Rebels up 53-51.

Auburn's only points after that came on a three-pointer from the top of the circle by Gabriel with 1:09 left to cut the margin to 55-54, but the Tigers couldn't make big plays on offense or defense with the game on the line.

Auburn fell to 13-12 overall and 3-8 in the SEC after its third consecutive loss. Ole Miss improved to 15-9 overall and 5-5 in the league.

Holloway, a 6-7, 240 junior, scored 20 points and added 11 rebounds for the Rebels. Nick Williams added 13 points and Summers scored 11.

Gabriel led the Tigers with 15 points and seven rebounds. He hit 6-11 field goals. Frankie Sullivan was the only other Auburn player to score in double figures finishing with 10 points, but none in the second half. Rob Chubb added eight points and seven rebounds.

Auburn hit 21-52 field goals (40.4 percent), 6-17 threes and 6-10 foul shots.

Ole Miss made 22-49 field goals (44.9 percent), 4-13 threes and 13-25 free throws.

Each team finished with 33 rebounds. Auburn turned the ball over 16 times, three more than the Rebels. Ole Miss had a 19-10 advantage in points scored off of turnovers.

"We just couldn't make the plays when it counted," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "We talk about it all of the time. We work on it all time. Those last four minutes of the game when you are the type of team we are, we are not going to blow anybody out so they are going to be possession games. In those last four minutes, when it comes down to getting defensive stops and executing, they did a better job of that than we did."

Barbee said another close call loss on the road was disappointing. "We had an opportunity to get away from them early and we just couldn't, very similar to the (Ole Miss) game at home. We had some great looks. Give them credit."

Starting Lineup: Adrian Forbes, Kenny Gabriel, Rob Chubb, Frankie Sullivan and Josh Wallace were in the opening lineup.

At the Break: Auburn was on top 31-24 at halftime. The Tigers hit 13-31 field goals for 40.6 percent while Ole Miss made 8-22 (36.4 percent). Auburn held a 20-17 rebounding edge in the half. Ole Miss was 5-12 at the foul line while Auburn made 2-4 free throws. Auburn made 3-11 threes while Ole Miss hit 3-8.

Frankie Sullivan drives for the Tigers.

Sullivan led the Tigers in first half scoring with 10 points while Gabriel was next with nine.

Kouassi Sighting: Freshman center Willy Kouassi has seen very little action since conference play. He was one of five subs who saw action in the first half and contributed a tip-in basket and three rebounds. Other subs seeing action included Varez Ward, Allen Payne, Chris Denson and Noel Johnson, who hit is second three-point basket of the season in the opening half.

Still Out of Action: Sophomore forward Josh Langford was not available as he continues to suffer problems after suffering a concussion from a blow suffered at Arkansas on January 25th.

Up Next: The Tigers do not have a midweek contest. They will return to action next Saturday with a 7 p.m. home game vs. Mississippi State. "We need some rest--desperately," Barbee said. "We have got to get some guys' batteries recharged."

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