Ole Miss overcame a 13-point, second-half deficit and benefited from a Music City miracle shot off the fingertips of Marshall Henderson to down Vanderbilt, 89-79, in overtime Tuesday night in Nashville.
With the game tied 75-75, Vanderbilt’s Kevin Bright dropped in a 3-pointer to give the Commodores a 78-75 lead with three seconds remaining in regulation. Neither coach elected to call a timeout before the inbound.
It turned out to be a big mistake for Vanderbilt.
Henderson inbounded the basketball under his own goal, passed the ball to teammate Jarvis Summers then raced down the court. Summers passed the ball back to Henderson who airlifted a desperation shot from dang near downtown Nashville.
Henderson’s shot hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded, ending regulation with the two teams knotted in a 78-78 tie.
Ole Miss dominated the extra 5-minute period to win by 10.
“I just felt like we were better in a broken floor,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy told ESPNU when asked why he elected not to call a timeout prior to Henderson’s shot that sent the game into overtime. “It’s the way we do things. I do not want them to have a chance to regroup and find that guy, because that’s the guy that we want to shoot the ball.”
Henderson, the SEC’s leading scorer, finished the night with 26 points. He finished 7-of-17 from the field, including a 4-for-11 effort from 3-point range. He also connected on 8-of-10 shots from the foul line with four rebounds and a steal.
NEXT UP: Arkansas on Saturday
The flamboyant Henderson played with his trademark emotion and enthusiasm throughout the game. He amped it up when the game was on the line.
“We need that. It’s good emotion. It’s passion, and we need that. We just need to channel it in the right way,” Kennedy said of Henderson.
Three other Rebels finished with double digits in the scoring column, as Ole Miss won its sixth straight game. Reginald Buckner and Jarvis Summers finished with 14 points apiece, while Murphy Holloway added 12. Buckner finished with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds. Holloway grabbed eight boards.
Four Commodores scored double-digit points on a night when Vanderbilt set a Memorial Gym record for made 3-pointers. Vandy hit 17-of-40 shots from beyond the arc, led by Kedren Johnson’s 19 points.
As the night closed, Ole Miss sat alone atop the SEC standings at 14-2 overall and 3-0 inside the league. Vanderbilt dropped to 6-9 overall and to 0-3 in SEC play.
The Rebels return home Saturday to host the Arkansas Razorbacks.
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