GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Ole Miss suffered a heart-breaking loss Wednesday night as the Florida Gators prevailed 90-86 in overtime at Exactech Arena. It was a game of runs seeing 17 lead changes and nine ties throughout, and Florida ultimately found momentum in overtime to come away with the win.
Florida (12-8, 4-3 SEC) won by way of balanced scoring beginning with Noah Locke, who led the Gators with 22 points on 7-13 shooting. KeVaughn Allen added 21, including the game-tying three to force overtime. The Gators scored 20 points off 13 Ole Miss turnovers, and shot 49% from the field, including 42% from the three-point line.
The Rebels (14-6, 4-3 SEC) were led by Terence Davis who had a game-high 26 points on 8-17 shooting. Breein Tyreeadded 20 points of his own, 16 of them coming in the second half and overtime. KJ Buffen scored a career-high 17 points, and went 8-8 from the line in the second half, tying his career-high in made free throws. Ole Miss was +14 on the glass with 19 second chance points.
Ole Miss jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Florida countered with a 7-0 run. The early seesaw battle continued as the Rebels held the Gators scoreless for four minutes, turning a three-point deficit into a three-point advantage, 10-7.
The Rebels took a four-point lead after an old-fashioned three-point play be Devontae Shuler, but once again Florida responded and flipped the game in its favor. Seven lead changes took place throughout the first half, and when the horn sounded, Ole Mis trailed 33-30 heading into the locker room.
Terence Davis scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds in the first half, finding most of his success at the charity stripe. The senior went 8 of 10 from the line in the opening 20 minutes to tie a career high in made free throws. Ole Miss held a 20-15 advantage on the boards, but a 1 of 9 clip from beyond the arc factored into the Rebels' deficit.
After Florida doubled its lead on the opening possession of the second half, the Rebels went on an 8-2 run to tie the game. Terence Davis hit a three from the wing, and KJ Buffen used a strong finish down low for the hoop and harm. The freshman forward made his third consecutive free throw of the half to square it at 38-38. However, the Gators tallied the next seven points in 1:09 to force head coach Kermit Davis to call timeout with 15:38 left in the contest.
Florida led 49-42 before Ole Miss flipped the script with an 11-0 run. Tyree drilled a three, and another Buffen old-fashioned three-point play sliced the deficit to one. After forcing another UF miss, Tyree drove down the lane for an emphatic dunk to five the Rebels their first lead of the second half with 12:03 to go. Coming out of the media timeout, Terence Davis reached the 20-point mark with his second three-pointer of the half to put Ole Miss up 53-49.
The game turned on its head again as the Gators claimed a 64-63 advantage with 4:40 remaining. However, it didn't last long as Tyree sank another three on the ensuing possession to give Ole Miss the lead back. Shuler sliced and diced his way to the hoop for a tough bucket to make it 68-64 Rebels. A Noah Locke three gave Florida the lead, 71-70 with 1:56 on the clock.
Coming out of an Ole Miss timeout, Kermit Davis drew up a play for Terence Davis on the block. It worked to perfection as the senior powered home the deuce put the Rebels ahead 72-71. A Florida foul on the other end led to two Buffen free throws to make it a three-point game with one minute to go. The Gators converted an acrobatic shot in the paint, but Tyree knocked down a pair of freebies to push the margin back to three with eight second left in regulation. Florida took a timeout, and Allen drained a tightly-contested three-pointer with 2.7 seconds on the clock to send the game into overtime knotted at 76-76.
A 7-0 run gave Florida the momentum in overtime. Ole Miss made it a one-possession ballgame down the stretch, but the Gators held on for the victory.
Following the trip to Florida, Ole Miss returns home to renew the rivalry with No. 21 MSU (Feb. 2). After beating the Bulldogs 81-77 in Starkville earlier this year (Jan. 12), the Rebels will go for the season sweep for the third time in the last five seasons. The Pavilion is sold out for the game, and tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network. Like all Ole Miss men's basketball games, you can catch all of the action on the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
For the latest news and updates regarding Ole Miss Men's Basketball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.
• Ole Miss played its first overtime game of the season.
• The duo of Terence Davis and Breein Tyree combined for 46 of the team’s 86 points.
• With his first bucket of the game, Terence Davis passed Cob Jarvis (1,313 points) to move to 18th on the Ole Miss all-time scoring list; Davis scored 26 points, the 21st 20-point game of his career (ninth this season) and now has 1,338 career points.
• Breein Tyree produced his 10th 20-point game of the season.
• Terence Davis recorded his third double-double of the season, all in SEC play, and the ninth of his career (26 points, 12 rebounds).
• Terence Davis tied his career-high free in throws (8 of 10, all in first half).
• KJ Buffen scored a career-high 17 points.
• KJ Buffen entered the game as a 61.7 percent free throw shooter and went 8 for 8 at the line, all in the second half.