MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Kerry Hammonds’ baseline jump shot with 40 seconds remaining and late foul shots, and Middle Tennessee State handed Mississippi its first loss of the season with a 65-62 win on Saturday.
Marcos Knight’s 14 points led the Blue Raiders (7-2). Hammonds’ shot broke a 59-59 tie, and MTSU made 4-of-6 free throws to finish off the win.
Ole Miss, which had the nation’s best turnover margin, committed a season-high 18 turnovers against MTSU’s swarming defense. And the Rebels, ranked second nationally in scoring (87-point average), never found an offensive rhythm.
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MTSU beat Southeastern Conference opponents in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. The Blue Raiders defeated Ole Miss in last year’s regular season and beat Tennessee in the National Invitational Tournament. It was MTSU’s first home win over an SEC team since beating Vanderbilt 93-90 in overtime on Feb. 1, 1995.
Raymond Cintron had 10 points on 3-of-4 3-pointers for MTSU.
Ole Miss sharp-shooter Marshall Henderson was held to only two points in the first half, and MTSU went ahead 33-29 at halftime. Henderson finished with a game-high 17 points to for the Rebels (6-1), who played their first road game of the season. Murphy Holloway and Nick Williams added 11 points apiece.
Ole Miss led most of the first half until MTSU’s 11-0 run turned the tide. Bruce Massey picked an Ole Miss pocket for one of his three steals to set up J.T. Sulton’s layup and foul for a three-point play. Massey’s missed layup was then followed by Shawn Jones for a put back dunk. Cintron followed with a 3-pointer, and another Ole Miss turnover led to Trantell Knight’s three-point play for a 33-26 lead. MTSU was up 33-29 at the break.
Ole Miss took back the lead with a seven-point spurt, as Henderson’s 3-pointer pushed it to 38-35 early in the second half. MTSU countered with back-to-back 3-pointers by Cintron and Hammonds to ultimately go ahead 47-42 at the 11:30 media timeout.
Ole Miss erased MTSU’s 59-52 lead with seven straight points in only 86 seconds, capped by Henderson’s game-tying 3-pointer from 25 feet with 2:06 remaining.
Hammonds buried the go-ahead jumper over Henderson, who slipped trying to defend penetration, for a 61-59 lead. On the other end, Holloway missed a wide-open 3-pointer.
MTSU’s Sulton made two foul shots, and both Massey and Cintron hit 1-of-2 from the line to secure the victory.