And with 2.7 seconds remaining Stefan Moody launched a game-winning three-point shot from the nose of the alligator masthead at half court to give Ole Miss a stunning 62-61 win over Florida on Thursday.
"It felt good," Moody said. "I obviously didn't really feel it until it went in."
Moody finished with a game-high 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting — including a 4-for-7 mark from three-point range — while Ladarius White scored 16 points off the bench for the Rebels (17-7, 8-3 Southeastern Conference).
After eight score changes and two ties through the first 12 minutes, Florida (12-12, 5-6) finished the first half with a 38-33 advantage after outscoring Ole Miss 16-12 in the final 7:22.
Florida dominated on the offensive glass in the first half, edging out Ole Miss 8-2 in offensive rebounds and forced the Rebels into seven turnovers.
"Their second-shot opportunities were really hurting us," Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said.
But Florida's lead was never safe.
Between a combination of second-half scoring droughts and poorly timed turnovers, the Gators never led by more than five points throughout the second half and never by more than seven in the game.
"Everyone was waiting on somebody to make a play instead of trying to make the play collectively as a group," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Florida held the lead down the stretch, but Ole Miss cut its deficit to two points with 2:23 left before Moody hit the game winner. MJ Rhett stole a pass from Jacob Kurtz intended for Dorian Finney-Smith to seal the game.
"That was really the difference in the game," Donovan said.
The Gators missed its final three shots.
Devin Robinson and Finney-Smith each scored 14 points for Florida, and four other UF players scored at least seven points in the loss.
Robinson, who started in place of Michael Frazier II (high-ankle sprain), also recorded a career-high seven rebounds in addition to recording three assists, two blocks and a steal.
"I thought we needed a little more size," Donovan said about starting Robinson. "I wanted to give Devin a chance to play a little bit more. . I thought it was his most complete game."
ON THE RISE
For the first time in nearly two weeks, Chris Walker had an efficient night on offense. The sophomore center scored seven points on 2-of-5 shooting and brought down six rebounds against Ole Miss. In the three games prior to Thursday, Walker had recorded just one point and five total rebounds.
Florida allowed an opponent to make at least 40 percent of its field goal attempts for the seventh time in eight games. . Ole Miss has had at least two players score in double figures in five of its last six games. . The Gators are sitting at .500 after 24 games for the first time since Donovan's first year as UF's head coach in the 1996-97 season.
TIP-INS: Florida: The Gators used their 10th different starting lineup of the season. . Forward Alex Murphy sank his first three-point basket of the season with 6:38 remaining in the first half. He had missed his first 10 attempts from downtown up to that point in the season. Ole Miss: Ole Miss improved to 6-4 on the season when trailing at halftime. . The Rebels shot 42.6 percent from the field, bettering Florida's 37.7-percent mark.
UP NEXT: Florida: at Texas A&M on Saturday. Ole Miss: at No. 24 Arkansas on Saturday.
AP: Ole Miss 62, Florida 61
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