With Ole Miss seemingly on its way to a momentum-killing loss to struggling Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, Marshall Henderson came to the rescue.
Henderson answered a late 3-pointer from Vanderbilt's Kevin Bright with one of his own, forcing overtime with a 35-foot desperation heave at the buzzer. The shot gave Ole Miss new life and propelled the Rebels to an 89-79 road victory that extended their win streak to six and kept them unbeaten SEC play.
It's remarkable Ole Miss was even able to get within striking distance in the final seconds considering how well Vanderbilt shot from the perimeter. The Commodores, normally a modest 33.4 percent from behind the arc, buried a Memorial Gym record 17 3-pointers to build a 13-point lead with 8:39 to play.
Vanderbilt's anemic 10 of 23 free throw shooting helped fuel the Ole Miss comeback, as did 26 points from Henderson and 14 points and 11 rebounds from Reginald Buckner. The Rebels then scored 11 of the 12 points in overtime, four apiece by Jarvis Summers and Nick Williams and three by Henderson.
For an Ole Miss team eager to avoid its sixth trip to the NIT in seven seasons under coach Andy Kennedy, this was a huge result.
Had the Rebels followed up a big win over Missouri last Saturday by dropping a winnable road game at Vanderbilt, the 'same ol' Rebels' chatter would have started as soon as the final buzzer sounded. Instead Ole Miss is 3-0 in the SEC for the first time in seven years and still in good position to contend for an NCAA tournament bid.