Falling Just Short

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Chris Warren tied the school record for 3-pointers in a career, but his 20-point effort was not enough to give the Ole Miss Rebels a victory in the SEC opener as they lost at Florida 77-71 Saturday night.

Erving Walker scored 20 points and Kenny Boynton hit three huge shots down the stretch for Florida (12-3, 1-0 SEC). Chandler Parsons added 17 points for the Gators, who won their fourth straight game. Vernon Macklin chipped in 16 points. But Walker and Boynton carried Florida in crunch time.

"I was proud of our effort," said Ole Miss Coach Andy Kennedy. "Our guys continued to battle and put us in a position to win the game. Our lack of focus at times, attention to detail, trying to switch defenses, at times it got lost in translation. I felt at times we were out of position and they made us pay."

With the game tied at 61, Walker hit a teardrop in the lane, two free throws and a layup following a steal that put Florida ahead 67-63.

Then Boynton hit consecutive 3-pointers, one of them a four-point play, and sank an over-the-head bank shot in the lane to make it 76-69 and essentially seal the win with about a minute to play.

Andy Kennedy

Warren was scoreless in the first half. He got hot after the break, scoring 20 points. The Rebel senior point guard said tying the career 3-point mark with Aaron Harper (278 3-pointers from 2001-04) is nice, but he's more concerned with winning games.

"I'm happy with the record, but my goal is to always win the game," he said.

Sophomore Reginald Buckner posted his first double-double in SEC play with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Terrance Henry added 12 points and Zach Graham 11.

"I thought we played hard but we had a few mental lapses," Warren said. "But we're always going to play hard and fight to the end."

Florida snapped a four-game winning streak for the Rebels (12-4, 0-1).

"Florida 's been playing really, really well," Kennedy said. "When we made a mistake, they made us pay. They made a couple of huge shots, and we came up just a little bit short. But it certainly wasn't for lack of effort. I told our guys that if we bring that same focus from an effort standpoint, we can be in any game. Our execution has to improve for us to get on the right side of the win-loss column."

Ole Miss hosts Mississippi State Thursday at 8 p.m.

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