Moody leads Ole Miss past Georgia 72-71
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy was screaming for a timeout. Fortunately for Kennedy, his high-scoring point guard Stefan Moody did not hear him.
Moody dribbled through Georgia defenders and converted an awkward, rim-rattling layup with 3.8 seconds remaining to give the Rebels a 72-71 comeback win Saturday night.
''I didn't hear AK (Kennedy) calling for a timeout. I just need to go,'' said Moody with a smile. ''Really, it was a garbage play and I wanted to give it a chance to go in.''
Kennedy simply said, ''Once he turns the corner on a defense, there's nothing more we can ask for. What can I say? Players make plays.''
Moody scored 29 points, with seven assists and three steals, but the game-winning shot capped an improbable comeback that erased a 71-67 deficit in the final 42 seconds.
Sebastian Saiz and Rasheed Brooks added 14 points and 10 rebounds apiece for the Rebels (12-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference).
Yante Maten led Georgia (8-5, 1-2) with 20 points.
Georgia led 44-35 at halftime and by as many as 11 points in the second half before the rally by the Rebels. J.J. Frazier's 3-pointer put Georgia up 71-67 with 57 seconds left. Brooks answered with a 3 for Ole Miss and, after a missed 3 on the other end, Moody hit the winner.
Kenny Gaines missed a contested, potential winning 3. Gaines finished with 14 points, while Charles Mann added 15.
''A hard fought game. Tough ball game,'' Georgia coach Mark Fox said. ''We had serious foul trouble in the second half that was hard to overcome, but give Ole Miss credit. They earned it.''
Each team made 21 of 58 (36 percent) from the field and faded in the final 15 minutes. Georgia was only 2 of 16 while Ole Miss was 3 of 12.
The Rebels held the edge at the free throw line, connecting on 24 of 35 (69 percent), while Georgia was 22 of 34 (64 percent).
''Our defense down the stretch was the difference. When you are not making shots, it's demoralizing,'' Kennedy said. ''It was for both teams. This is a big win for us because by the end of the year, I think Georgia is an NCAA Tournament team.''
Ole Miss: Moody highlighted an early 13-0 first half run that included a free throw, a layup, a 3-point shot, two assists and a steal. ...Ole Miss is 10-1 when out rebounding opponents and had a 44-40 edge over the Bulldogs. ..The Rebels snapped a four-game losing streak to Georgia.
Georgia: Maten has scored at least 20 points in seven of Georgia's last 10 games.. ...Georgia ranks No. 7 nationally in field goal defense at 36.8 percent and held Ole Miss to 36.2 percent.
Ole Miss visits LSU on Wednesday.
Georgia hosts Tennessee on Wednesday.