||Gaines, Thornton lead Georgia past Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) — Junior guard Stefan Moody led Ole Miss with 19 points, and Sebastian Saiz added a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds, but the Rebels fell to Georgia 76-72 Wednesday night at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Joining Moody and Saiz in double figures were senior guard Jarvis Summers with 13 points, his second straight game in double figures, and senior guard Terence Smith with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
The difference in the game, head coach Andy Kennedy said, was the Bulldogs (18-9, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) making the extra pass, finishing with 17 assists on 23 made field goals, and the difference in the teams' 3-point shooting.
Ole Miss (19-9, 10-5 SEC) held Georgia to 37 percent shooting from the field, but the Bulldogs were 11-for-23 from 3-point range, led by junior guard Kenny Gaines (22 points) and senior forward Nemanja Djurisic (17 points), who knocked down four 3-pointers each. The Rebels, meanwhile, shot 35 percent from the field, including 6-for-29 from 3-point range.
"We have not been able to be as efficiently offensively as we need to be at home," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "Defensively, we hold them to 37 percent (shooting). We win the battle on the glass (47-43), we turn the them over 14 times, but when it's your time to step up and make a play, we have to make them. Georgia made more plays than us. They deserved to win."
The Rebels led just once in the game, but they remained close, before Georgia finished the first half on an 11-2 run, including a 3-pointer by Gaines at the buzzer, to take a 34-23 lead into halftime. It was the eighth 3-pointer of the half for the Bulldogs.
Coming out of halftime, Ole Miss started on a 5-0 run to get within six, 34-28, on a 3-pointer by Moody with 18:14 left. It was as close as the Rebels would get, before a steal and layup in transition by Moody pulled the Rebels to within five, 56-51, with 6:09 left.
Ole Miss got to within five on two separate occasions, before a 3-pointer by Moody, his second of the game, made it a two-point game, 60-58, going into the final media timeout. After the media timeout, Georgia answered with a 7-0 run, including five points from senior forward Marcus Thornton (18 points, 13 rebounds), on the way to the 76-72 final.
"They were making everything," Saiz said. "They were making a lot of good plays; we didn't make enough plays to win the game. We felt like we were better after that 3 and we just needed a stop. We didn't get a stop. They made more plays than us."
The Rebels hit the road for a two-game road swing, traveling to LSU on Saturday (1 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Net) and Alabama next Tuesday (6 p.m., SEC Network), before returning home for Senior Night against Vanderbilt the following Saturday (8 p.m., SEC Network).