OXFORD, Miss. - In his final game in an Ole Miss uniform, Sebastian Saiz scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to tally the 32nd double-double of his great Rebel career, but it wasn't enough as Ole Miss' comeback attempt against Georgia Tech fell short, dropping the NIT quarterfinal matchup 74-66 Tuesday.
Saiz became just the seventh player in SEC history to score 1,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and block 100 shots and finishes his Ole Miss career ranked second in rebounds, fifth in blocked shots, fifth in double-doubles, and 23rd in points scored. His 23 double-doubles this season was a single-season school record.
The hot shooting that had carried the Rebels (22-14) to the quarterfinals eluded Ole Miss against Georgia Tech. After a season-high 15 3s as a team against Syracuse to reach this round, Ole Miss shot 6-28 from deep against a stout Georgia Tech defense.
Georgia Tech (20-15) got off to a hot start and quickly built a lead from the opening tip. The Yellow Jackets built a first half lead of as much of 15 as Ole Miss shot 2-13 from outside in the half. However, the Rebels scored seven of the last nine points in the first half to trail by nine at the break.
Despite that poor first half, the Rebels had chances in the second half to get back in the game. Ole Miss was able to cut the Georgia Tech lead to as few as four points on multiple occasions in the late stages of the second half. However, the Rebels could never get over the hump and tie the game back up.
While Saiz' excellent Ole Miss career is finish, the Rebels did get strong performances from players that will be back in red and blue next season. Sophomore Terence Davis and junior Cullen Neal put up 15 and 13 points respectively in the contest. Neal, in particular, hit some big shots in the second half to give the Rebels a chance at the comeback.
Ole Miss finished the year with 20 wins for the ninth time in 11 seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy. The Rebels had just seven 20-win seasons in the 96 years prior to Kennedy's arrival.