Henderson, Ole Miss NCAA tourney-bound
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The day before, Mississippi’s Marshall Henderson joked that since his Rebel team was in the SEC Tournament championship game it might as well go ahead and win it.
Media surrounding him chuckled.
No ones’s laughing now.
Henderson, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, pumped in 18 second half points to lead the Rebels to a comeback win against regular season Florida, 66-63 on Sunday.
Erik Murphy’s basket cut it to 63-61 with 1:08 left but a goal tending call by Patric Young gave Ole Miss a four-point lead with 43.7 to go. Mike Rosario made it a two-point game on a drive and the Gators got the ball back for one final chance.
Murphy missed a shot in the lane and Murphy Holloway, the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, hit one of two foul shots with 8.6 to go to, making it 66-63.
Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin was fouled at 4.2 second. He missed both, the second knocked back to Kenny Boynton — who just missed a three that would have tied it at the buzzer.
In the first 20 minutes, it looked like a game regular season champion Florida might run away with.
But Ole Miss opened the second half with a 26-8 run to wash away a 12-point halftime deficit thanks mostly to the play of Henderson and Holloway.
Henderson, held to just three points on 1 of 6 shooting in the opening half but finished with 21, scored 12 in the first 10 minutes of the second stanza — including three free throws and a jumper during a 7-0 stretch that put the Rebels ahead for the first time, 52-46, with 11:14 to play.
Florida regained the lead briefly at 53-52 on a Murphy 3-pointer at 8:03 _ the first field goal of the second half
by any Gator player other than Mike Rosario. Rosario, … [For more on Henderson, Ole Miss NCAA tourney-bound with SEC title win over Florida, click here.]