OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -A.J. Ogilvy scored 27 points and made all eight free throws attempts in the final 4 minutes to lead No. 17 Vanderbilt to an 82-78 victory over Mississippi on Thursday night.
The Commodores (20-5, 9-2 Southeastern Conference) did it their way, grinding down the Rebels (17-8, 5-6) late with a relentless inside game that led to 34 free throw attempts - three above their average in league play. Vanderbilt hit 19 of 22 free throws over the final 6:07 for its third straight win and 14th in 16 games.
It was the fourth loss in five games for Ole Miss, which is fading from the NCAA picture after reaching as high as No. 14 in the Top 25 before falling out two weeks ago.
Ogilvy was 8 of 10 from the field and 11 of 13 from the free throw line, while Jeffery Taylor added 19 points. Jermaine Beal hit 9 of 10 free throws to finish with 14 points.
Chris Warren led Mississippi with 23 points, but like many of the Rebels he spent much of the second half in foul trouble and was never a consistent threat.
Ole Miss opened the game with a flurry, scoring 16 points in the first 3:52 to take its biggest lead, 16-5. The Rebels were 5 of 6 from the field and 4 of 4 from 3-point range in that span. After that, though, they went cold, missing 18 of their next 22 shots and scoring just 12 more points in the half.
The Commodores used an 11-2 run to get back in the game and held the Rebels to one field goal for the final 8:25 of the first half to take a 30-28 halftime lead.
Ole Miss used an 8-0 run for a momentary 38-36 lead with 17 minutes left and then a 10-2 spurt for a 52-47 lead with 11:01 left, but Vanderbilt quickly shifted down low and took advantage of Ole Miss' struggling front court.
The Commodores hit 6 of 6 free throws during an 18-8 run in which the Rebels missed 4 of 5 attempts from the line. Murphy Holloway missed the first shot of a 1-and-1 - his third failure to convert the bonus - and Reginald Buckner missed two attempts as Vanderbilt made its move.
That gave the Commodores a 65-60 lead and though the Rebels kept it close, Ogilvy and Beal hit Vanderbilt's final eight free throws for the win.
Vanderbilt has hit 251 of 346 free throws in 11 league games (72.5 percent), making more shots than seven other SEC teams have attempted. Thursday night's performance at the line helped the Commodores improve to 5-0 against the SEC West this season and solidify their hold on second place in the SEC East behind No. 2 Kentucky, which they host Saturday.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved