COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — After former Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy stepped down on Sunday, interim coach Tony Madlock told his team to start fresh.
The Rebels did, battling through a double-digit Missouri comeback and an overtime session to beat the Tigers 90-87 and pick up their first road victory in conference play.
Breein Tyree scored 25 points, including a game-tying basket in regulation, to lead the Rebels. Terence Davis finished with 19 points and added a mammoth block with seven seconds left to secure the victory.
With 15 seconds left and Ole Miss up one, the Rebels turned it over and Missouri’s Jordan Geist ran the floor before getting swatted by Davis. Ole Miss led for the last 4:14 of overtime, but the lead stayed within one possession throughout the final period.
Ole Miss (12-16, 5-10 Southeastern conference) led for over 36 minutes, but had to shield a Missouri comeback attempt throughout the second half. The Tigers built a six-point lead with 2:38 remaining, but they allowed Ole Miss to climb back. Tyree drilled a floater with three seconds left to send the game into overtime.
“(Madlock) told me to get downhill, try to get a layup,” Tyree said. “That’s what I did. I crossed back over, had a wide-open floater, and that’s what I’ve been working on all season.”
Jontay Porter led Missouri (18-10, 8-7) with 17 points and contributed nine rebounds. Six different Tigers scored in double-digits, but Missouri turned the ball over 21 times, limiting its offensive flow for much of the game.
“Same thing that it’s usually been,” Missouri’s Jordan Barnett said. “Can’t close out the game, turnovers down the stretch. Same old, same old.”
Jeremiah Tilmon picked up a double-double for the Tigers, scoring 12 points and adding 12 rebounds, but shot just 2 for 6 from the free-throw line.
Ole Miss: A very nice start to the Tony Madlock era. After dropping seven consecutive games and losing its coach, Ole Miss rebounded with an impressive offensive performance against a stellar defensive team, and showed enough fight to pick up its first road win in conference.
Missouri: The Tigers have now lost two straight after winning five in a row. While Missouri is still on track for an NCAA Tournament appearance, this definitely puts a dent in its resume. The Tigers also have turnover and inbound issues to fix.
Ole Miss head coach Tony Madlock coached his first game as a head coach Tuesday night. Madlock had been an assistant coach for the Rebels since the 2014-15 season. He coached under former head coach Andy Kennedy, who stepped down Sunday, a day after Ole Miss lost its seventh consecutive game.
“It was so exciting,” Madlock said. “We talked about a fresh start, a new beginning. I know it’ll sound like a broken record, but I just told these guys to play hard. That’s all we’re asking for.”
NOT SO CHARITABLE
Missouri had been one of the country’s better free-throw shooting teams throughout the season, but its performance at the charity stripe has hindered them in a their last two losses, both one-possession games.
The Tigers shot just 7 for 17 from the charity stripe against LSU on Saturday, and followed that up with a 20-for-31 performance against Ole Miss.
“We’re obviously a better free-throw shooting team than in the last two games,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. “It can always be a factor, but we’ll continue to work on it.”
Ole Miss returns home to play Tennessee on Saturday.
Missouri hits the road to face Kentucky on Saturday.