South Carolina beats Ole Miss with half-court buzzer-beater

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

OXFORD — Ole Miss hit a buzzer-beater to send Tuesday’s game against South Carolina to overtime.

Unfortunately, South Carolina hit one of its own in overtime.

James Reese V hit a half-court bank shot at the buzzer and South Carolina beat Ole Miss 77-74.

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Reese’s game-winner came after Ole Miss’ Jarkel Joiner hit a game-tying floater at the end of regulation.

“I work on half-court shots every day. I just happened to be in that position and I just shot it like the way we shoot it every day,” said Reese, who finished with nine points. “The emotion that I felt was crazy, because I was thinking about it before it happened. Before we went into overtime the first time I was thinking somebody was going to have to make a big shot. First (Ole Miss) made it and then it came to me.”

Joiner, Matthew Murrell and Nysier Brooks scored 18 points apiece for Ole Miss (12-14, 3-10 Southeastern Conference). Luis Rodriguez had eight points and 13 rebounds.

Ole Miss lost its fourth game in a row.

“We had some breakdowns defensively, but still played well enough to win,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “It’s a tough loss, but credit to South Carolina. (Erik) Stevenson made a big three down by one that was kind of contested, and teams just seem to make those plays against us.”

Erik Stevenson scored 17 points to lead South Carolina (15-10, 6-7). Devin Carter finished with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Keyshawn Bryant also 16 points.

South Carolina trailed for most of the second half and by as many as eight, but then used an 11-3 run for a 68-66 lead with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Bryant sparked the surge with a 3-pointer and Stevenson capped it with two from long range.

Joiner’s basket with 1.7 seconds left sent it to overtime tied at 68.

Carter’s layup gave South Carolina a 74-73 lead with 1:26 remaining in the extra period. Brooks made 1 of 2 free throws to tie it with 1:04 left, but the Rebels then missed two 3-point attempts.

Following a South Carolina timeout with two seconds to play, Jermaine Couisnard got the ball to Reese, who juked and split two defenders, then heaved it from the logo for the game-winner.

“The last play, all we were doing was putting a safety in the back. All we were trying to do was get him to catch it in front. (Murrell) went for a steal and the guy got behind him and still made a half-court shot,” Davis said.