Vanderbilt uses late push to hand Ole Miss its fifth straight loss

Published 6:06 pm Saturday, February 4, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In his postgame press conference, Ole Miss men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis mentioned “two-minute lapses” that have plagued his team all season long.

When they happen in the last few minutes, like they did Saturday against Vanderbilt, they’re especially devastating.
Vanderbilt went on a 10-0 run late in the second half to finally gain some separation in a game that featured 20 lead changes, and then hung on to beat Ole Miss 74-71.

Ole Miss (9-14, 1-9 Southeastern Conference) lost its fifth game in a row. It was the Rebels’ third SEC loss by four points or less. They’ll play at Georgia on Tuesday.

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“Disappointing for us. Like a lot of games, I thought we competed at a high level. Just some miscommunications and fouling those guys right at the rim,” Davis said. “We’ve just had these two-minute lapses and we had them tonight. Vanderbilt capitalized on some shots they had, we didn’t, and we lost another close game.”

After sitting out a blowout loss for disciplinary reasons, Tyrin Lawrence returned to the Vanderbilt lineup Saturday and posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Lawrence scored eight points in Vanderbilt’s closing push that saw it take its biggest lead of the game, 72-61. After Myles Stute air balled a wide open 3-point attempt, Lawrence gathered the rebound and fired a pass to a still wide-open Stute, who this time buried the 3 with 57 seconds left.

Ole Miss finished the game with a 10-2 run of its own, but didn’t get back to within one possession until Jaemyn Brakefield made a layup with one second left to cut it to 74-71.

Vanderbilt (11-12, 4-6) bounced back from a 101-44 loss to No. 4 Alabama in its previous outing, which was the program’s worse loss since 2003.

“That was really a fun game,” Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “Our guys really responded after having a couple days to stew over a tough loss earlier this week that we were all shocked and embarrassed about. I thought we had a couple good days of preparations and the guys really came out and responded and it was a great win for us and hopefully something we can build on.”

Brakefield led Ole Miss with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Myles Burns contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Matthew Murrell also finished in double figures, with 10 points.

Liam Roberts, sporting a black eye left over from the Alabama game, led the Commodores with 19 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Stute scored nine points.

Quentin Millora-Brown added a season-high 10 points and five rebounds. He had been averaging only 3.7 points per game entering Saturday’s contest.

“Brown is a tough player, but he’s not known for scoring. They never throw him the ball. And we couldn’t stop him one-on-one,” Davis said.