Rebel Basketball: Collection of notes

Ole Miss held off Florida 89-87 on Wednesday night, despite blowing a 15-point advantage. The Rebels are now 15-1 and head to Auburn Saturday. Go inside for a notebook on the 15th-ranked basketball team in America.

Free Throw Follies

Ole Miss was up 11 points when the Florida bench was flagged for a technical foul, sending Chris Warren to the charity stripe. Billy Donovan was irate and becoming even more furious as Chris Warren would assuredly increase the Rebel lead.

The freshman dribbled, aimed and clunk. The ball bounced off the front of the rim, and moments later, that same ball ricocheted off the back end without meeting the bottom of the net. The score stayed the same, and the missed free throws served as foreshadowing.

Ole Miss finished the night a below average 59.3 percent at the line, but it was an 8-17 stretch over the final 3:45 that left the game in doubt. Florida was able to get off a desperation heave at the buzzer because of three straight Rebel misses with less than ten seconds left.

Dwayne Curtis was 4-5 on free shots to offset the sub-par efforts of Warren and Eniel Polynice, who each went 2-5 against the Gators.

"We've hurt ourselves on the foul line all season, and it continues to be a problem," Andy Kennedy said. "I may have allowed it to become so mental that we just don't look comfortable on the foul line."

Write This Down

Boy, could the predictions been more wrong? And getting more so by the game.

Picked to finish last in the SEC West and 11th overall, Ole Miss is now one game from matching the best start in school history. With a win Saturday at Auburn, the Rebels would be 16-1, tying the 1925-1926 team's mark.

The current edition already holds records for best start (13-0) to a season and consecutive victories (13).

"Those things are always nice to have, but we know there is work to be done past all that," David Huertas said. "Our names will always be in the books though."

Ole Miss swept Auburn last season.

Rebound Streak Snapped

Ole Miss appeared to be playing hot potato around the glass on Wednesday, as the Rebels were out-rebounded for the first time this season. The Gators poured in 17 second chance points and pulled down 39 boards to Ole Miss' 36, including 16 on the offensive end.

Curtis grabbed 12 caroms, but no other Rebel totaled more than five.

"I thought we did a nice job against the best rebounding team in the league," Donovan said. "They had more size and more strength, but we hung in there. I was proud of it, and we can take a lot from that effort."

Forward Fighting

Jermey Parnell supplied 13 minutes of action despite battling a high ankle sprain that he suffered at Tennessee. The senior was 1-2 from the field and secured four rebounds.

Parnell practiced Monday before being limited on Tuesday due to soreness.

"He felt pretty good the first half, but it really tightened up late," Kennedy said. "We'll keep working on it and see how he feels for Saturday."

SEC Standings

East

Tennessee 2-0, 14-1

Florida 2-1, 15-3

Vanderbilt 1-1, 16-1

Georgia 1-1, 10-5

Kentucky 1-1, 7-8

South Carolina 1-2, 9-8

West

Miss. State 3-0, 12-5

Ole Miss 2-1, 15-1

Arkansas 2-1, 13-4

Auburn 1-2, 10-5

Alabama 0-3, 11-7

LSU 0-3, 7-10

Midweek Scores

Tuesday

Miss. State 69 Kentucky 64

Wednesday

Ole Miss 89 Florida 87

Georgia 61 Alabama 54

Auburn 74 LSU 67

South Carolina 70 Arkansas 66

Thursday

Vanderbilt at Tennessee 6 p.m. (CST) ESPN

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