Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Marshall Henderson made sure Ole Miss was
guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament, as the sharpshooter scored 18 of his
21 points in the second half to help the Rebels come back and top the 13th-
ranked Florida Gators, 66-63 for the SEC Tournament title.
Ole Miss (26-8) came in as a potential at-large bid for the upcoming NCAA
Tournament and its fate was seemingly in the hands of the selection committee
after trailing by 14 points on Sunday.
But Henderson and Murphy Holloway, who chipped in 23 points and 10 rebounds,
sparked a turnaround for the school's first conference tourney championship
Mike Rosario had 18 points and nine boards and Kenny Boynton added 13 points
for the top-seeded and SEC regular season champion Gators (26-7), who lost
despite making 11 3-pointers.
Boynton had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but his 3-point attempt rimmed out.
Ole Miss, seeded third, turned things around after the break. Holloway, who
hit a late bucket to pull the Rebels within 38-26 at halftime, scored six
points during a 10-3 run to open the second half.
Henderson drained a 3-pointer to cap the flurry for a 41-36 game, then sank
three free throws to give Ole Miss its first lead at 48-46 with just over 12
minutes to play.
A 7-0 run a little later, capped by Henderson's rainbow 3-pointer from 25
feet, put the underdogs in front, 59-53 and the Rebels never trailed again.
Florida was as close as two points with the ball on several occasions. With
Ole Miss holding a slim 65-63 lead in the final minute, Henderson turned the
ball over in the backcourt and Florida called timeout with 22.3 seconds on the
Erik Murphy took the ball inside and was short on a tough turnaround, and
Holloway was fouled with 8.6 ticks to go after pulling down the rebound. He
made the first and missed the second, and the Rebels sent Scottie Wilbekin to
the foul line before the Gators had a chance to tie.
Wilbekin missed both free throws, and the second miss was tipped back to the
perimeter, where Boynton threw up a contested try that came up empty.
Michael Frazier II hit three from long range in the game's first nine minutes,
the last giving Florida a comfortable 18-6 lead.
Ole Miss had its deficit down to 21-16, before Boynton caught fire with 11
points in the last seven-plus minutes of the half.
Florida attempted 31 shots from behind the arc ... Ole Miss was playing in
its first tourney title since losing to Kentucky in 2001 ... The Rebels
snapped a five-game skid to the Gators ... Florida shot just 8-of-17 from the
foul line ... Ole Miss won the battle in the paint, 36-14 ... Florida has lost
all of its games this season that have been decided by single-digits.
The Sports Network