Sebastian Saiz scored 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds as Ole Miss defeated Missouri 75-71 on Saturday.
Terrence Davis had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Deandre Burnett added 14 points, shooting 3 for 6 from 3-point range.
Missouri’s Kevin Puryear led all scorers with 26 points to go with eight rebounds, shooting 11-for-14 and hitting all four from long range. Russell Woods finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Terrence Phillips had 10 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, but fouled out with 14 seconds remaining.
Ole Miss (12-7, 3-4 SEC) assumed an early double-digit lead following a peculiar start, in which Saiz was assessed a flagrant foul in the first 16 seconds for elbowing Missouri’s Russell Woods while going after a loose ball. The Rebels were up 22-10 within 6 minutes of play, but Missouri steadily closed the gap behind 11-point first halves from Woods and Puryear, and trailed 39-33 at halftime.
The Tigers (5-13, 0-6) put on arguably their best offensive performance of the season in the second half, shooting 9-for-17 from 3-point range and eventually taking a one-point lead following a 3-pointer by Cullen Van Leer with 7:34 remaining.
Following that sequence, Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy called timeout and the Rebels responded with an 11-1 run that seemed to halt any remaining momentum for Missouri.
However, 3-pointers by Jordan Barnett and Van Leer in the final minute made for an interesting finish, as Van Leer was fouled on a made shot with 6 seconds remaining, but missed the free-throw to make it a one-point deficit. The Rebels were 17-for-23 from the free-throw line, including 4-for-6 in the final minute.
Barnett finished with 11 points and five rebounds, and Van Leer had nine points, making 3 of 6 3-pointers.
Saiz’s double-double is his 13th of the season, which ranks sixth nationally and leads all SEC players. After being outrebounded 23-17 in the first half, Saiz’s tenacity on the glass helped Ole Miss close the rebounding gap in the second half.