Home / College Basketball / Ole Miss Fights Off Florida Men’s Hoops, Clinches SEC Tournament Title

Ole Miss Fights Off Florida Men’s Hoops, Clinches SEC Tournament Title

One day after battling back from a double digit second half deficit, the Florida Gators found themselves on the opposite side of a comeback, surrendering a 12 point halftime lead and dropping the SEC title game to Ole Miss, 66-63.

The Rebels second stanza charge was spearheaded by senior forward Murphy Holloway and junior guard Marshall Henderson. Holloway topped the stat sheet in points with 23 and rebounds with 10. Henderson scored 21 points, 18 of which came in the final 20 minutes of the game, along with three steals.

Senior Mike Rosario registered 18 points and a career high nine rebounds for Florida and guard Kenny Boynton followed up his dynamite day against Alabama with 13 points, while freshman Michael Frazier II scored nine points off the bench, shooting 3 of 5 from outside the arc.

Florida has thrived on suffocating defense all season long, but struggled to contain Ole Miss as the game stretched on. The Rebels outscored the Gators 40-25 in the final frame and dominated UF inside, scoring 36 points in the paint compared to merely 14 for Florida.

The Gators controlled the Rebels in the first 20 minutes, shooting effectively and frequently from beyond the arc and opening up a 14 point lead. At the conclusion of the half, the teams retreated to the locker room with Florida leading 38-26.

Fueled by the realization that a victory in the SEC Tournament final might have been the only way to clinch an NCAA Tournament berth, the Rebels rallied in the second half. The Gators were held to just seven points in the first 7:30 of the half, all of which were scored by Mike Rosario. In that span, the Rebels went on a 19-7 run to tie the game at 45-45. Henderson and Holloway continued their hot streaks, pushing the lead to as high as six with seven minutes to go courtesy of a long three pointer from Henderson that ignited the crowd and prompted a mocking Gator-chomp from the guard directed at the supporters of the Orange and Blue.

Trailing by three in the closing seconds, Scottie Wilbekin was sent to the free throw line but missed both shots. The ensuing three pointer at the buzzer by Kenny Boynton after an offensive rebound was off the mark, sealing the fate of the two teams.

Boynton says the final shot was rushed but the play unfolded exactly as planned.

A large disparity in shooting proved to be a key factor the game’s result. Florida shot just 22-59 (37.3%) from the field, approximately 10% worse than the Rebels, and just 8 of 17 from the free throw line. UF launched 31 shots from three point range, sinking 11.

Although more than half of the Florida’s shots from the field were from long distance, head coach Billy Donovan says the shots were not necessarily ill advised.

The Gators have lost four of their last 10 games to conclude the season and are 0-6 in games decided by six points or less, but Rosario doesn’t believe the team has lost confidence, and suggests that UF is well prepared for what they’ll face next week.

Announced Sunday night, the Gators will tip off play in the NCAA Tournament as a number three seed, taking on 14th seeded Northwestern State (23-8) on Friday in Austin, Texas in the South Regional.

SEC Tournament champion Ole Miss heads to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002, playing in the West/East Regional as anumber 12 seed, squaring off against fifth seeded Wisconsin on Friday in Kansas City, Missouri.

About Joel Sebastianelli

Check Also

Jan 23, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Southeastern conference commissioner Greg Sankey holds the College Football Playoff trophy with Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) and head coach Nick Saban during a presentation to celebrate the victory in the CFP National Championship game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan looks on during the first half between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …


Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

July 24, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USA guard Kevin Durant shoots against China in the first half during an exhibition basketball game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …


Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) and catcher Luke Maile (46) and third baseman Evan Longoria (3) and second baseman Logan Forsythe (11) and second baseman Tim Beckham (1) Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Jul 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz (26) throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Jul 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher A.J. Ramos (44) and catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) celebrate a win against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 2-1 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Jul 20, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Tim Beckham (1) doubles in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rays defeated the Rockies 11-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

Jul 19, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher George Kontos (70) hangs onto the ball after tagging out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) during the eighth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Dec 31, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws against Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware (10) during the second quarter of the 2015 CFP semifinal at the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

Dec 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) holds the MVP Texas Bowl trophy after defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders 56-27 at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Jul 14, 2016; Hoover, AL, USA; South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp speaks to media during SEC media day at Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Jul 14, 2016; Ayrshire,  SCT;Phil Mickelson (USA) hits his second shot from the 18th fairway  during the first round round of the 145th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Troon Golf Club - Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …


Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Jul 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller (13) bats during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

Jul 12, 2016; Ayrshire, SCT; Jason Day plays from the 3rd tee during a practice round for the 145th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Troon Golf Club - Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …


The Chosen Four: Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Washington

Those that started at the top, remained at the top. The college football selection committee …