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Ole Miss 57, Wisconsin 46: Rebels Ice Away Badgers

Ole Miss picked up its first NCAA Tournament since 2001.

Jamie Squire

Ole Miss came back (once again) from a halftime deficit and put away a cold-shooting Wisconsin team 57-46.

The script of this game was not all that far off of the ones that the Rebels wrote during the SEC Tournament. They struggled in the first half, scoring just 22 points. Marshall Henderson was a big part of that, going 1-11 with just two points. The rest of the team did shoot 43% on the half, though, so the potential for a comeback was there. It also helped that the Badgers were bricklayers, themselves only scoring 25 prior to intermission. This task was an easy one compared to the SEC Tournament title game.

The Rebels made their characteristic second half surge, led by an awakening Henderson. He shot 5-for-10 in the second half, also making four free throws to gather 17 total points in the period. A Murphy Holloway bucket with 8:35 left to go pushed Ole Miss out in front 40-39, and it wouldn't relinquish the lead again. From there on, a 17-7 Rebel run kept the game out of reach and allowed the team to pull off a classic 12-5 upset.

Henderson led all scorers with 19 points, and Holloway had 10 points and nine boards. Reginald Buckner did good work down low, gathering 12 rebounds and blocking five shots. Not a single Wisconsin starter made it to double digits, though reserve forward Sam Dekker put in 14.

Partially due to good defense by Buckner and Holloway, and partly due to just plain bad offense and bad shooting, Wisconsin made just 25.4% of shots from the field (including 23.3% from three). Ole Miss forced a lot of long distance launches, just like they did against Florida on Sunday, as the Badgers attempted more threes (30) than they did twos (29). With the shots just not falling for the 5-seed, the 12-seed took advantage and pulled away late to seal the win.

Ole Miss moves on to take on the winner of Kansas State and La Salle on Sunday.