Five players scored in double figures to help lead the Ole Miss Rebels to a 90-81 win over the Memphis Tigers in a National Invitation Tournament game Friday evening at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum. The win advanced the No. 2 seed Rebels to the third round of the NIT on Tuesday against the winner of Saturday’s game between Texas Tech and Jacksonville. The winner of that third-round game will advance to New York for the NIT Final Four.
For the second straight game, Ole Miss’ Terrico White led the team with 21 points, while Chris Warren had another sensational floor game as he scored 16 points and had seven assists. But unlike in Wednesday’s win over Troy in the first round, White and Warren got a lot of help from their teammates.
Zach Graham made the biggest contribution for the Rebels in that regard as he scored 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Graham also hit five of his six shots from the free-throw line, while the Rebels (23-10 overall) made 26 from the charity stripe as a team.
Also adding to the double-digit scoring mix were Trevor Gaskins, who had 10 points in 10 minutes and Murphy Holloway, who scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Angel Garcia led the Tigers (24-10) with 17 points in the loss, while Will Coleman recorded a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Memphis’ leading scorer, Elliot Williams, was held to just 11 points, seven points under his season average, by a swarming Rebel defense that also caused 13 turnovers.
The Rebels controlled the pace of the game most of the way and really had a tight grip on the contest with 6:09 left to play when they led by 14 points (68-54). The Tigers were able to cut the Rebels’ lead down to seven points three times after that, but they were never able to make it a two-possession game and seriously threaten late. (March 19, 2010)