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SEC MEN'S TOURNAMENT - QUARTERFINAL - Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tennessee

Arkansas fights off Ole Miss for 73-72 win

14 days ago
Associated Press

Game Notes | Arkansas Quotes | Ole Miss Quotes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Manuale Watkins drove for a layup with 1:28 left to put No. 3 seed Arkansas ahead, and the Razorbacks held off No. 6 seed Ole Miss 73-72 on Friday night in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals.

Watkins' layup made it 71-70, and Daryl Macon hit two free throws with 23.8 seconds left to pad Arkansas' lead. The Razorbacks needed every point as the Rebels took and missed a flurry of shots in the final 10 seconds before Justas Furmanavicius' layup just before the buzzer.

Officials reviewed the play before ruling the game over.

Ole Miss (20-13) snapped a two-game winning streak.

Macon finished with 17 points, including 9 of 10 at the free throw line. Jaylen Barford and Dusty Hannahs each added 13.

Terence Davis led Ole Miss with 26 points.

This was the first time these teams have played in the SEC Tournament, and they turned in a doozy after Arkansas routed Ole Miss 98-80 on Feb. 18.

Ole Miss, fresh off beating Missouri in the Rebels' tournament opener, jumped out to a 17-8 lead on a 3-pointer by Davis. After that, neither team led by more than six in a game featuring 13 ties, including 40-40 at halftime, along with 12 lead changes.

Breein Tyree gave Ole Miss its last lead at 70-69 with a 3-pointer with 1:47 to go. The Rebels didn't score again until a layup that was too little and too late.

With Moses Kingsley helping harass Sebastian Saiz, the Ole Miss senior who was the SEC's only player to average a double-double this season, into just nine points and 17 rebounds.

Deandre Burnett added 16 points, and Tyree had 13 for Ole Miss.

BIG PICTURE

Ole Miss: The Rebels, who lead both the SEC and the nation with the most made free throws, just couldn't get to the line enough with Saiz. He was just 1 of 2 at the line. They also didn't help themselves from 3-point range, missing their first five in the second half trying to match the speedy Razorbacks up and down the court. They finished 1 of 10 beyond the arc in the second half and 8 of 28 for the game despite outrebounding Arkansas 49-39.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks already had their sights set on their second NCAA Tournament berth in three seasons for the first time in nine seasons. They improved to 23-24 in this tournament and now are a win away from playing in the title game for the second time in three years.

UP NEXT

Arkansas moves on to play in the second semifinal game against No. 7 seed Vanderbilt Saturday on ESPN. The Commodores-Razorbacks matchup will begin 25 minutes after the conclusion of the Alabama-Kentucky game, which tips off at 1 p.m. ET.