ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kenny Gaines scored 21 points and Charles Mann hit the go-ahead free throw with 1.5 seconds remaining, lifting Georgia past Mississippi 61-60 on Saturday in a battle for third place in the Southeastern Conference.
After a three-point play by Jarvis Summers of Ole Miss tied the game at 60-all, Mann dribbled most of the final 30 seconds down before driving and cutting, drawing a foul from Ole Miss freshman Dwight Coleby. Mann missed the first free throw but made the second for the one-point lead.
Ole Miss couldn’t complete a desperation full-court pass as the game ended.
Gaines had nine points in a 13-0 run midway through the second half that gave Georgia its first lead since early in the game. Mann had 17 points for Georgia (14-10, 8-4 SEC), which took its fourth straight win. Ole Miss (16-9, 7-5) has lost two straight, both on the road.
Marshall Henderson made five 3-pointers, including four in the first half, and led the Rebels with 24 points. Ole Miss led 26-15 in the first half.
Ole Miss led 40-37 before a four-point play by Gaines gave Georgia its first lead since 7-6 and started the run of 13 unanswered points. Gaines added another 3-pointer and two free throws as Georgia took a 50-40 lead.
Ole Miss began its comeback after Georgia took its big lead at 53-42. Henderson, fouled on a 3-point attempt, made three free throws to cut the lead to 54-52. A jam by Anthony Perez tied the game at 54-all, but Perez was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Gaines made one of two free throws to give Georgia a 55-54 lead.
Following an offensive foul on Georgia’s Marcus Thornton, Henderson made two free throws to give the Rebels the lead. Summers, who had 11 points, added one free throw before Georgia’s Nemanja Djurisic scored on a baseline drive for a 57-57 tie.
Henderson, a senior, leads the SEC and ranks third in the nation with his average of 4.43 3-pointers per game.
Henderson came off the bench to launch a contested fallaway jumper from the corner for his first 3-pointer to give the Rebels their first lead at 6-5. The slim (6-2, 177) guard kept shooting, adding three more 3s and a layup following a Georgia turnover for a 23-15 lead. Derrick Millinghaus added a 3-pointer to give the Rebels their big lead of the half at 26-15.