Posted: Mar 15, 2013 10:25 PM
Updated: Mar 15, 2013 11:32 PM
NASHVILLE - Missouri struggled with close-game losses all season. Friday night, the Tigers late-game issues were again brought to light.
With the game tied at 62, Laurence Bowers threw away an inbound pass and Ole Miss' Derrick Millinghaus hit a runner with 1.1 seconds remaining on the ensuing possession to give the Rebels a 64-62 victory.
Mizzou led most of the game, but was done in by an 18-6 Ole Miss run over the final eight minutes.
The Tigers got off to a good start and took a 31-24 lead into the half thanks to 10 first-half points from Alex Oriakhi. But after extending the advantage to 14 in the second period, Mizzou saw its lead slip away.
After Phil Pressey hit a three to give the Tigers the lead with 48 seconds left, Millinghaus answered with a three of his own to tie it at 62. On the ensuing possession, Marshall Henderson stole Bowers' errant inbound pass setting up the winning basket.
Henderson, the SEC's leading scorer during the regular season, was held to just seven points in the first half on 3 of 9 shooting, but woke up after the break and finished with a game-high 27 points.
Oriakhi led MU with 16 points and nine rebounds while Pressey added 13 points and seven assists.
The win likely keeps Ole Miss' NCAA tournament hopes alive - the Rebels started the game as one of the "last four in" according to ESPN's Joe Lunardi. Ole Miss now plays Vanderbilt for a spot in the SEC tournament final at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Mizzou is still projected to make the NCAA tournament, but the Tigers will have to wait until Selection Sunday to learn their fate and how this loss affects their seeding.