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Ole Miss had a chance at one of the biggest wins in school history when hosting the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday. The Rebels hadn’t beaten a top-10 team since they toppled Missouri in 2013, and it had been 526 games since they beat a team ranked higher than the Vols (No. 6 Alabama in 2003).
Ole Miss led for the final 2:38 until reigning SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams hit a go-ahead basket on a drive with 4.3 seconds left.
Grant Williams is CLUTCH.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2019
Ole Miss had plenty of time left to put up a quality shot, and Devontae Shuler took the ball up and launched a deep 3-pointer through contact. However, the sophomore guard was called for an offensive foul, turning the ball over and effectively ending the game.
Fans were mad at the referees as they felt they cost them the game, which Tennessee won 73-71. After the final buzzer, fans showered the court with trash while booing everyone involved with the ending.
Ole Miss fans are pelting the floor with trash. pic.twitter.com/nR2CDSEdHY
— Nick Suss (@nicksuss) February 28, 2019
Over the PA, a voice can be heard saying: “Don’t throw anything on the court. You did an unbelievable job tonight; end it the right way.” After the game, Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis took the blame for the crowd’s reaction and bemoaned the ending to the game.
“It was close,” Davis said, via the Clarion Ledger. “It was close. It was close. Our fans were unbelievable. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I threw my jacket and that probably enticed the crowd so I apologize for that. Just being competitive in the moment. It was just a hard-fought game.”
Ole Miss had its chances down the stretch regardless of the final call, though. Up one point with 17 seconds left, Breein Tyree, an 83.1 percent free throw shooter, missed the first half of a 1-and-1 that preceded Williams’ eventual go-ahead bucket.
What’s going on with SEC schools throwing stuff?
Ole Miss isn’t the only school to trash its own court at the end of a close loss to a conference rival. Exactly one week earlier, Mississippi State topped Georgia thanks in part to a Georgia fan throwing a bulldog stuffed animal onto the court.
With the game tied at 67 and 0.5 seconds left, Mississippi State guard Quinndary Weatherspoon missed the first of two free throws, but a fan threw the stuffed animal during his shot. Referees awarded him a bonus shot, which he hit for the win.
A fan might have cost Georgia the game by throwing a stuffed animal on the court 😱
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) February 21, 2019
At least Ole Miss fans can take solace in the fact that their trashing didn’t affect the outcome of the game. Just the perception of their fanbase.
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