Mississippi tops Memphis 90-81
OXFORD, Miss. (AP)—Mississippi guard Terrico White, struggling with inconsistent shooting for most of the season, picked the best time of the year to regain his touch.
White scored 21 points, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, as the Rebels defeated Memphis 90-81 Friday in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Ole Miss advanced to the quarterfinals and will host the Texas Tech-Jacksonville winner on Tuesday.
“It feels good to see my shots going down again,” said White, who scored 27 points in an NIT opening-round win over Troy. “My confidence is back up and so is the team.”
A midseason slump and an SEC tournament loss to Tennessee ended hopes of an NCAA tournament berth. But the Rebels (24-10) have won six of the last seven outings and improved to 10-1 in NIT home games.
“We’re a couple of bounces away from being in the other tournament,” Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. “But this team has won six of the last seven games and has an opportunity to keep playing with a lot at stake.”
Leading 50-47, Ole Miss went on a 14-4 run to take a 64-51 lead with 7:23 left. White had six points, an assist and capped the run with a dunk.
Memphis (24-10) never got closer than six points again.
“I’m proud of this team because they stabilized this program when it could have taken a nosedive,” Memphis coach Josh Pastner said. “This team won 24 games, finished second in Conference USA and played in postseason. They were fun to watch and overachieved.”
The Tigers had five players score in double figures. Will Coleman had 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Angel Garcia scored 17 points, Wesley Witherspoon had 13 points, Doneal Mack had 12 and Elliot Williams added 11.
Ole Miss, which led 37-33 at halftime, had five players in double figures. Zac Graham scored 19 points. Chris Warren had 16 points, Murphy Holloway had 11 points and Trevor Gaskins added 10.
The Rebels shot 50 percent from the field, blocked nine shots and forced 13 turnovers.
The Tigers were 29 of 63 from the field and 46 percent from 3-point range to stay within striking distance.
“I thought it was a high-level, high-quality game by two really good teams,” Kennedy said. “This was a very good win and we’re excited to still be playing basketball.”