The Rebels jumped out of a six point first half lead after leading by as many as eight, 31-25. Vanderbilt fought back and took the lead at 38-37 minutes into the second half. However, the Commodores could not maintain the small lead.
Ole Miss started to build on their lead and went ahead by seven at 56-49 with seven minutes remain. Two Brian Thornton free throws would cut to 56-51 with 6:41 remaining. Ole Miss responded with a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 59-51. Thornton then hit two more free throws with 5:55 remaining to cut the lead to 59-53 Rebs. Still another 3-pointer put Ole Miss up 62-53 with four minutes remaining.
The Commodores battled but missed key free throws and 3-point shots late in the game that would prevent the 'dores from making a run. A Chuck Moore tip in with 1:20 remaining would cut the lead to 68-61. Ole Miss responded with a David Sanders three to erase any Vandy hope of an upset. Sanders would go on to finish with 15 points for Ole Miss.
After the game Commodore head coach Kevin Stallings stated on ISP Sport Network that "I thought our guys fought hard, particular under the circumstances." Stallings then mentioned that Brendan Plavich and one other player were fighting illnesses just before the game.
Stallings also mentioned that he believes "Our guys are battling a lot harder". He went on to say that "You have to fight hard against Mississippi because they fight you hard".
Vandy was led in scoring by Chuck Moore with 14, followed by Matt Freije with 12; Brian Thornton 11; Brendan Plavich 10; Jason Holwerda 7; Corey Smith 4; and Sam Howard with 3.
Ole Miss out rebounded Vandy 32-25. After being red hot against Georgia on Saturday, Vanderbilt hit just 5-15 from three point range. Ole Miss managed 7-22 trey attempts. Vanderbilt made just 10-18 free throws compared to the Rebels 16-19 from the charity stripe.
Ole Miss improves to 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the conference. Vanderbilt falls to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the SEC. The Commodores next face their arch rivals, the Tennessee Vols, on Saturday.
Men's Hoops: 'Dores fight but fall to Rebels
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