Shorthanded Rebels dominated by Florida on the road

Published 8:10 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Ole Miss went to Gainesville down a considerable number of bodies, but they fought about as well as one could expect against a talented Mike White Florida team.

However, the lack of experienced players and subsequent fatigue caught up to Ole Miss on the road, falling 71-55.

Starting center Khadim Sy did not travel with the team to Florida in this one, something described just as a “coach’s decision.” Just minutes before the start of the game, senior guard – and the SEC’s leading scorer in conference play – Breein Tyree was ruled out with a back contusion.

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This past Saturday against Arkansas, Ole Miss played only eight players. When they took the floor against Florida just days later on Tuesday night, only six of those were available.

Despite being shorthanded, Ole Miss hung tough early. After falling down 8-0 to start the game, the Rebels battled back, eventually taking a 22-21 lead over the Gators with 8:22 left to play in the first half. However, over that remaining time in the first half, Florida outscored Ole Miss 19-6.

Like the first half, Ole Miss kept pace early in the second half. Also like the first, Florida had a run in them. The Gators held Ole Miss scoreless for a span of 4:09 mid-way through the second half, expanding their lead to 59-36. They would never relinquish, winning 71-55.

The Rebel offense as a whole shot just 40 percent, including 3 of 16 from long range.

With depth highlighted as problematic going into the night, the game helped as an evaluation tool for those deep on the bench. Carlos Curry, a redshirt freshman who has played a total of 37 minutes over the opening 15 games of the season, played 17 minutes and scored four points. The Rebels also got freshman guard Bryce Williams back from a groin injury that had kept him out of all games since the start of the New Year.

Now 9-7 (0-3 in SEC play), Ole Miss is in a bit of a tailspin. The Rebels don’t take the court again until Saturday, a return home to face LSU.