Originally written on College Chalktalk  |  Last updated 3/17/13
Sec_mens_basketball_70ea
Ole Miss came into the SEC Tournament as a proverbial bubble team.  They leave as a solid NCAA participant.  The inside play of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner plus the pomp, circumstance, and swagger of Marshall Henderson carried the Rebels to a 66-63 win over Florida in the SEC Final on Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena. Murphy Holloway was the key to an Ole Miss SEC title Sunday as he went 11-of-14 from the floor and scored 23 points in the Rebels’ 66-63 win over Florida. Everything had fallen into place for the Gators in the first 20 minutes as Florida had a 38-26 halftime lead.  From there, Ole Miss started to move as Reginald Buckner began to control the paint as Murphy Holloway had done in the first half.  Then this allowed Marshall Henderson to catch and try to shoot.  Twice he was fouled on three-point shots and twice he made all three free throws.  At that point with Florida struggling to score, you could feel the momentum shift and it never shifted again. Holloway finished 11-of-14 from the floor and 6-of-7 in the first half as he kept the Rebels within shouting distance. “Obviously the Marshall Henderson show is like a traveling circus,” said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, “It’s up, it’s down. We got a high wire act over her, the ponies, here.  We got all kinds of nonsense going on and he draws a lot of attention. The dirty work and the grind is done by these 3 guys that are on this podium earlier (Holloway, Buckner, and Nick Williams).  Murphy carried us early once we tried to find our rhythm  Reggie was tenaciosu at the basket.  He blocked three, but altered at least another five.” Holloway found his success on the boxes, scoring his Ole Miss’s last 10 points in the first half to keep Florida from pushing it’s 12-point halftime advantage. “I didn’t want the game to get to far away from us,” said Holloway, “I made plays based off hustle. We kept the game close and managed to come out with the win.” In the Rebels’ game-changing run, that second set of three free throws by Henderson put Ole Miss ahead at 48-46 and then Buckner stretched it to 52-46.  Donovan was aghast at the foul calls which set Henderson up in perfect position for him to get into the flow of the game as he had struggled to that point. “I love his pass Florida saw it’s last lead on a triple from Erik Murphy at 53-52 and in a flash it was Henderson who scored on a drive in the lane then picked up a long rebound on a missed three on the next possession and drained his own three. The Gators were within two on two other occasions, but again, unraveled in a close game as they missed their last seven free throws. Probably most troubling for Billy Donovan was when Casey Prather stripped Henderson in the backcourt, down 65-63.  After a Gators timeout, Erick Murphy missed in the lane.  Florida had ample opportunities but couldn’t take advantage. “I think the first thing is we put outselves in a situation where we had to fight our way back,” said Donovan, “I thought Mike Frazier’s missed free throws to tie the game would have put a different edge on the game.  We’ve spent a lot of time trying to work on getting a good look.  Erik has a five-foot jump hook.  We gave ourselves a chance.  We executed good down the stretch. Donovan was upset with his defense, a staple all year, that allowed Ole Miss to go 15-of-28 from the floor and score 40 points in the second half.   Meanwhile for Kennedy, it was vindication.  Rumors had him on the hot seat if he didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament with this team and as of last week, it was almost a long shot. “Obviously, this is a big moment for our program and a big moment for these seniors,” noted Kennedy, “We knew this was possible if we stayed together and focused on the things we could control.” Holloway paced Ole Miss with his workmanlike 23 points and nine boards while Henderson added 21.  It was the first basketball championship of any kind for the Rebels since they won the 1981 SEC Tournament.   - Ken Cross         Related Posts:Rebels could surprise in SEC playFlorida, Ole Miss and ‘Bama riding hot streaksStory lines aplenty in Vandy-Ole Miss semifinalSEC Notebook: The Murphy editionChallenging practices help Gators refocus
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oregon unveils majestic display for Mariota's Heisman

Ravens OL's tiny Nissan out of place in team parking lot

Brazen Buckeye blocks Urban Meyer's car

Jaguars GM: Justin Blackmon's NFL career likely over

WATCH: Rays rookie hits first HR, gets ignored by teammates

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Email shows Ravens tipped off Colts about deflated footballs

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

Fabricio Werdum open to rematch with Fedor

Poker pro Daniel Negreanu wants to partially own Vegas NHL team

Penn State modernizes with new shield logo

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker