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Tiny Harrison continues to play big for Rebels

By Staff
Jan. 28, 2001
By Richard Dark
The Meridian Star
STARKVILLE 45 minutes after Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 79-69, Jason Harrison sat alone in a front row seat at Humphrey Coliseum with a dejected look on his face.
Although the smallest player on the court came up with the biggest output for the second straight Saturday, it wasn't enough to appease Harrison, whose team suffered its fourth straight setback to its biggest rival.
Harrison, who was whistled for a technical foul along with MSU guard Marckell Patterson and forward Michael Gholar, said he wasn't surprised the game got chippy toward the end.
Although both teams did just that, Saturday, MSU extended its lead in the overall series to 122-99, including an 81-23 margin in Starkville (20-6 at Humphrey, including 16 of the last 18). The four straight wins also represent the longest MSU stretch since State won five straight in 1995-96.
Play of the Game: There were plenty to choose from in this gem, from Gardner's highlight reel layup to Timmy Bowers' reverse that gave the Bulldogs their 18-point lead, to the Harrison triple that completed the Rebel resurrection.
But with the Rebels trailing by five at 69-64 after a pair of Patterson free throws, Harrison still had the hot hand, and was looking to cut the lead to a bucket with 1:30 left. After he popped free off a screen, the Rebel gunslinger prepared to shoot another 3-point bullet, but the offering was tipped at the last second by Tang Hamilton.
Identified Flying Objects: During the Bulldogs' player introductions, the customary dimming of the lights and playing of "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project is common in basketball circles, but the boisterous MSU faithful added their own twist in front of the Jefferson Pilot TV cameras by showering the floor with fluorescent green glow sticks.
What's next: The Rebels return home to face the Arkansas Razorbacks, while the Bulldogs hit the road to face the Auburn Tigers. Both games are at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
MSU improved to 11-1 in games in which it has led at the half.
The Bulldogs are 8-2 when they shoot better than 45 percent and are 10-1 when holding opponents under 45 percent. The Rebels' 29.7 mark represented a season-low.
MSU also improved to 6-0 when holding opponents under 70 points.
Ole Miss fell to 8-4 in televised games this season. The Rebels, who entered the contest next-to-last in the SEC in rebounding, outboarded the league's best rebounding team 41-34.
Lockhart recorded his 21st career double-double with 10 points and 11 boards.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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