Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson looking forward to facing Gators again
Vanderbilt’s improbable run through the SEC tournament came to an end Saturday afternoon with a 64-52 loss to Mississippi in the SEC semifinals.
The victory for the Rebels (25-8) sets up a rematch with No. 1 seed Florida for the SEC tournament championship today. Florida defeated Ole Miss 78-64 on Feb. 2 in Gainesville, but the Rebels said they remain confident heading into today’s game.
“I’m excited,’’ said Ole Miss guar Marshall Henderson, who had 23 points in Saturday’s game. “They are a really good team. . .It’s going to be a really good game. Both teams will be on their third game in three days, but we’re both rounding into form for this NCAA Tournament.”
Vanderbilt (16-17), which was playing its third game in three days, led by as many as nine in the first half, but Ole Miss rallied with the final eight points of the half to tie the game at 26 at halftime. Then trailing 36‐34, Ole Miss went on an 11‐0 run to take a 45‐36 lead. The Rebels took control of the game with a 24-4 run to take a 58-40. Ole Miss held Vanderbilt to 33.9 percent from the field.
“They just played better than we did today, and a lot of that had to do with the fact we couldn’t’ make shots and we’re very dependent upon our ability to shoot the ball and make shots from the perimeter,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said.
Ole Miss believes the win over Vanderbilt secured the Rebels a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
“For us, there are two things that go into your mindset,’’ Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. “At 25-8, we’ve won 14 SEC games and not many people are still playing, so I feel pretty confident about our ability to get the albatross from around the neck of this program as it relates to the NCAA Tournament. And I’m really proud of these seniors because they’ve stayed the course and put themselves in position to earn that. . . We’ve got a chance to compete for a championship and there’s very few times in your life you have a chance to compete for a championship. So that’s where I want our focus to be.”