Redbirds rock Rebels in overtime

Published 8:05 pm Saturday, December 16, 2017

OXFORD (AP) — Perspective was no problem Saturday for both head coaches after Keyshawn Evans scored 25 points, including the go-ahead basket in overtime, as Illinois State defeated Ole Miss 101-97.

“I’m still not quite sure how we won this game,” said Illinois State coach Dan Muller, as he quickly walked off the court while his team celebrated behind him. “It’s big. But it only stays big if we keep winning.”

Illinois State (5-6), led by as many as 14 points in the second half and missed a potential game-winning shot to send it to overtime at 87-87. Evans, who added seven assists, hit a 3-pointer to open overtime — his fifth of the game — and the Redbirds never trailed again.

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It’s the third home game this season that Ole Miss has lost in overtime.

“It’s incredible. We’ve lost three games in overtime in our own building. Incredible,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “I’m responsible for this. It’s ridiculous and it’s embarrassing for me.”

The Rebels, after a promising November start, have lost four of the last five. In each of the overtime losses, the Rebels failed to make a winning play in the final 15 seconds.

This time, Ole Miss led 85-82 with less than two minutes left in regulation and Terence Davis had a shot blocked with 3.8 seconds to go. The lone positive was the breakout offensive performance by Bruce Stevens, which included 27 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

“You’ve got to be able to make a play at the end of the game and we have not been able to do that,” Kennedy said. “I still believe we have the players to do that, but we have to finish games.”

Milik Yarbrough also scored 25 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out eight assists to highlight a balanced Illinois State attack. Phil Fayne scored 16 points with 10 rebounds and Madison Williams added 14 points.

Ole Miss (5-5) was led by Stevens, while Davis scored 17 points with a team-high nine rebounds. Deandre Burnett scored 19 points with seven assists while Breein Tyree and Marcanvis Hymon added 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Illinois State shot 31-of-73 (43 percent) from the field, 13-of-31 (42 percent) from 3-point range, including consecutive shots from Evans and Matt Hein to build an insurmountable lead to open overtime. The Redbirds finished 26-of-31 (84 percent) from the free throw line.

The Rebels were 31-of-73 (43 percent) from the field and 7-of – (27 percent) from the 3-point line. Stevens was 13-of-16 from the free throw line as Ole Miss finished 28-of-37 (76 percent), but were outrebounded 49-41 by the Redbirds.