Ole Miss misses another opportunity at Arkansas

Published 7:55 pm Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ole Miss’ opponent was the one with the strong second half Saturday, and the Rebels missed out on yet another resume-building opportunity.

Arkansas used a late surge to coast past the Rebels for a 98-80 win at Bud Walton Arena. The loss ended Ole Miss’ two-game winning streak and dropped the Rebels to 1-9 against the RPI top 50.

Ole Miss (16-11, 7-7 Southeastern Conference) has four games left in the regular season with only one of them — the regular-season finale at home against No. 21 South Carolina on March 4 — giving the Rebels a chance to positively move the needle as it relates to their at-large chances for the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss, which began the day at No. 66 in the NCAA’s latest RPI rankings, likely needs to win out and put together a deep run in next month’s SEC Tournament in Nashville to have any real shot.

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Deandre Burnett scored a team-high 27 points, his second-highest output of the season, while Terence Davis added 24 points for Ole Miss, but the Rebels failed to offer much resistance on the defensive end, particularly late.

Ole Miss cut a 46-37 halftime deficit to five with 16:25 left, but Arkansas (20-7, 9-5) made six of its next seven shots to fuel a 19-0 run that put the Razorbacks in control. The Rebels, which gave up the second-most points they have all season, had a stretch where they missed 14 of 15 shots from the field in the second half, going nearly six minutes without a basket at one point.

Daryl Macon led four Arkansas players in double figures with 30 points while Moses Kingsley had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Ole Miss’ Sebastian Saiz had eight points and five boards, his third straight game with single-digit rebounds.

Arkansas shot 53.3 percent from the field in the second half, making six of its last 13 3-pointers, and 47 percent for the game. Ole Miss shot 37.1 percent from the floor and was at fewer than 32 percent from the field and from the 3-point line in the second half.

Ole Miss will stay on the road Tuesday at Mississippi State. Tip is set for 8 p.m.