Ole Miss beats rival MSU
By By Austin Bishop/EMG Regional Sports Director
Jan. 13, 2002
OXFORD Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes said there is one real good thing about being a defensive-minded coach poor shooting doesn't always bother you.
The Rebels overcame horrid shooting from the floor in the first half including making just 1-of-11 from three-point range to knock off the No. 22-ranked Bulldogs in front of a packed Tad Smith Coliseum.
Despite the poor first-half shooting performance, the 13-3 Rebels came out gunning in the second half. Jason Harrison knocked down a three-pointer just 22 seconds into the second half and Aaron Harper followed with a three-pointer to turn Ole Miss' 26-22 halftime deficit into a two-point lead.
Barnes said he didn't draw up any magical plays to help his team shoot better in the second half, that it was just a case of the Rebels taking care of business.
Reed finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds, while Allen had 13 points and eight boards. Eighteen of those combined 30 points came in the second half.
Barnes said it is no coincidence that the outside shooting improved when the big men got involved with the flow of the game.
Mississippi State which dropped its second straight SEC road game as a ranked team had opportunties to blow the game open early.
State led 24-17 with 3:34 to go in the first half, but the Rebels, now 2-1 in the SEC, cut it to four points at the ahlf.
Despite falling behind 48-38 on two free throws by Justin Reed with 7:18 to play in the game, the Bulldogs fought back to cut it to three points at 55-52 when Austin powered in for a three-point play with 2:17 to go in the game.
The Rebels called a time out and seven seconds later Aaron Harper who was just 1-of-10 from three-point range at the time nailed a three-pointer from the corner to put the winners up by six.
Harper missed all five of his his three-point attempts in the first half, but Barnes didn't get on him hard.
Mario Austin led MSU with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Timmy Bowers hit 13 points off the bench and Michael Gholar scored 11 points and had a team-high eight boards.
Jason Harrison scored 12 points for Ole Miss, while David Sanders added 10.
Ole Miss visits Kentucky for an ESPN-televised game 6 p.m. game on Tuesday, while State hosts Tennessee at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.