Ole Miss Holds Off Visiting Tigers

The Ole Miss Rebels defeated the Tigers 65-62 in the SEC basketball opener for both teams.

Oxford, Miss.--K.T. Harrell's three-point jumper from the wing in the closing seconds to send the game into overtime was off target as Ole Miss held on for a 65-62 victory over Auburn in the SEC basketball opener for both teams.

The loss on Thursday night ended a four-game winning streak for the Tigers, who fell to 8-4 overall. Ole Miss improved its record to 10-4.

Senior guard Chris Denson led the Tigers with 28 points in a game in which neither team could build a large lead. However, he and Chris Griffin also missed three-pointers in the final 50 seconds as the Tigers scored just 10 points in the last seven minutes as the home team overcame a five-point Auburn advantage.

The Rebels took the lead for good with 6:09 to play on a pair of free throws by Derrick Millinghaus, who led the Rebels in scoring with 16 points. Jarvis Summers added 14 points for Ole Miss and Ladarius White scored 10. The Rebels' leading scorer, guard Marshall Henderson, did not play due to a suspension.

The Tigers got 11 points from Harrell and eight from Asauhn Dixon-Tatum, who added six rebounds, one behind Allen Payne's and Griffin's team-high seven boards.

Rebounding kept Auburn in the game on a night the Tigers hit just 39.3 percent of their field goals. Auburn pulled in 40 rebounds while Ole Miss had 30.

Auburn hit 8-22 three-pointers and 10-15 free throws while the Rebels made 7-14 threes and 12-21 free throws to go with 43.4 percent shooting from the field.

"I am proud of the way our guys fought tonight," Coach Tony Barbee said. "We played extremely hard and tough out there. If we will play like that on the road every time out we are going to give ourselves a chance to win our fair share of games on the road."

Freshman guard Dion Wade launches a three-pointer. He made a pair of those shots vs. the Rebels.

The Auburn coach said his team played "decently" on defense and better than that on the boards. "I thought we really played hard and tough on the backboard to out-rebound them by 10. We just had way too many turnovers--way too many unforced turnovers. That resulted in possessions in which we did not have an opportunity to score. I thought that was basically the bottom line in the game."

Halftime Numbers: Ole Miss led 31-28 at intermission. The Rebels hit 12-31 field goals (38.7 percent), 4-10 threes and 3-4 free throws. Auburn hit 10-24 field goals (41.7 percent), 4-8 threes and 4-7 free throws. Each team had 18 rebounds. AU turned the ball over nine times, four more than Ole Miss. Denson led the Tigers in scoring with 13 while Harrell added eight while Millinghaus led the Rebels with 10 points.

Stat of the Game: Auburn turned the ball over 18 times, nine more than the home team. That helped the Rebels overcome a 10-rebound deficit.

Worth Noting: Payne was injured going for a rebound and saw limited action after that. "We will get him checked out and find out what is happening," Barbee said.

The Tigers have a quick turnaround for their second league game. They will be at Auburn Arena for a 1 p.m. tipoff on Saturday vs. Missouri.

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