OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -Down 23 points in the second half, Ole Miss appeared finished, headed for its third straight loss.
Thanks to a pair of big performances the Rebels came right back to win what may have been a watershed game if they're going to have a chance to win the Southeastern Conference and make the NCAA tournament.
Chris Warren scored 21 points, and Terrence Henry had 18 points and eight rebounds to help No. 25 Mississippi come back to beat Alabama 74-67 and stay a half-game behind Arkansas in the SEC's West.
``We just could not afford to drop this game,' Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. ``I wish I could tell you that it something I said at halftime that turned it around, but it wasn't. It was about our players.'
The Rebels (17-6, 5-4 Southeastern) made 25 of 33 free throws in the second half.
Ole Miss was down 43-20 a minute into the second half, but slowly chipped away until Terrico White's tip-in with 6:11 left put the Rebels up 58-56.
White, Warren and Henry hit four free throws in the final 28 seconds to send Alabama (13-10, 3-6) to its third straight loss.
``Terrance had a huge game,' Kennedy said. ``We really needed it. We had lost two in a row and (have) a crucial road game at Mississippi State on Thursday.'
JaMychal Green led the Crimson Tide with 18 points and added seven rebounds. Tony Mitchell had 16 points and eight rebounds.
Alabama still held a 56-45 advantage with 9:01 left before Ole Miss responded with a 14-0 run. Alabama managed only one basket in the final two minutes, a 3-pointer by Charvez Davis.
``Today was a microcosm of what we've experienced all season,' Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. ``We've not shown the ability to handle adversity. We knew Ole Miss would fight in the second half. You have to fight back.'
Alabama never regained the lead, but made it 66-64 on a dunk by Mitchell with 2:12 left.
Henry answered with a dunk of his own and the Rebels allowed only one other Alabama basket the rest of the way.
``Wins like this give you confidence. I won't say it's a statement game, but it's important,' Warren said. ``You've got to give them credit for getting on us, but we never lost confidence that we would come back and get it.'
The Associated Press News Service
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