White lifts Ole Miss past Coastal Carolina 71-68
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Mississippi guard LaDarius White will be the first person to admit his club has struggled to hold the home court advantage this season. Those struggles were obvious again in the first half on Thursday.
''No doubt we've struggled on our home court, but our coaches have preached on staying together,'' said White, who scored a career-high 26 points as Ole Miss rallied from a 17-point deficit to defeat Coastal Carolina 71-68. ''Tonight, we stayed together.''
Jarvis Summers and Stefan Moody added 16 and 11 points, respectively for the Rebels (7-3), combining for five free throws in the final 55 seconds to preserve the win.
Ole Miss, trailing 41-28 at halftime, had a decisive 15-2 run midway through the second half to take a lead it never surrendered.
Elijah Wilson and Shivaughn Wiggins had 19 points apiece for Coastal Carolina (8-3), which led by 17 points on two occasions in the first half. Josh Cameron added 15 points for the Chanticleers, who finished 22 of 43 from the field.
Ole Miss was 23 of 46 from the field, including 9 of 24 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range. The Rebels were 16 of 19 from the free throw lineand forced 17 turnovers. Mississippi improved to 3-3 at home and 3-0 in the all-time series with the Chanticleers.
''White and Summers started knocking down shots in the second half and that turned them around,'' said Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis. ''We were hot in the first half but could not get the shots down that we needed in the second half.''
Coastal Carolina had an early edge on the strength of the 3-point shot, finishing 10 of 19 (53 percent), but Cameron missed a potential game-tying 3-point shot with five seconds remaining. Moody followed with two game-clinching free throws for the Rebels.
''This game is about confidence and in the first half they had it all,'' said Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy. ''We took it back in the second half.
''Basketball is a strange game, but there were a lot of positives for us, the biggest being we won the game.''
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers entered the game hitting 62 of 196 (31 percent) from 3-point range, but hit 8 of 10 (80 percent) to open the game. Wilson hit five consecutive shots from the 3-point line and finished 5 of 7, after hitting only 12 of 49 (24.5 percent) for the season.
Ole Miss: The Rebels were 14 of 23 (61 percent) from the field in the second half and did not miss a shot in the final six minutes. Aaron Jones had a game-high nine rebounds in 17 minutes. Ole Miss limited Coastal Carolina to three field goals in the final 10 minutes.
Ole Miss forward Terry Brutus was a surprise starter. Brutus had not played this season and missed all of last season with a torn ACL. In the opening four minutes, Brutus had an assist but showed limited mobility and did not play in the second half.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
''All you can do on the road is put yourself in a position to win at the end and I'm very proud we did that. I just hate it for them that we couldn't finish,'' said Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis.
Ole Miss faces Southeast Missouri in Southaven, Mississippi, on Monday.
Coastal Carolina visits Central Arkansas on Sunday.