BLOG — Devin Oliver banked in a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to lift Dayton to an 83-80 overtime victory over Ole Miss Saturday night at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
The Rebels’ final non-conference tilt provided a chance for them to put a sexy win on their postseason resume as the Flyers entered the contest sitting at No. 53 in ESPN’s RPI standings. The Rebels have just one win over a team with a top 100 RPI (Penn State, 93) and none in the top 50.
Instead, it went down as a loss full of missed chances and deficiencies that have plagued the Rebels all season.
“We had a number of opportunities where if we could’ve gotten a stop, a putback or handled a ball between two bigs from three feet, then maybe the outcome would’ve been different,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “But unfortunately for us, it’s not.”
Junior guard Jarvis Summers paced Ole Miss (9-4) with a career-high 29 points, senior guard Marshall Henderson bounced back from a scoreless first half to finish with 15 points and forward Aaron Jones had 10, but the Rebels were outrebounded for the fifth straight game, 41-37, despite getting a career-high 11 boards from freshman forward Sebastian Saiz, who started over Jones for the second straight game in an effort to give the Rebels more of a presence on the glass.
But the Rebels couldn’t extend an 80-76 lead with 1:11 left in overtime, failing to get up a shot on either of their final two possessions. Saiz had a pass stolen by Vee Sanford, whose missed layup in transition was put back by Kyle Davis to tie the game at 80, before he was whistled for an illegal screen on the Rebels’ final possession to give the ball back to Dayton (12-3).
Oliver, who lit the Rebels up for a team-high 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting, got the ball at the top of key and kissed his final shot off the glass with 0.3 seconds remaining.
“The thing that’s disheartening is our last two possessions, we don’t get a shot,” Kennedy said. “(Saiz) trying real hard and threw the ball to them where they get us in the open floor and they hurt us on the offensive glass again. Then at the end, I don’t know if he was set or not set. We were just trying to pull their five (center) into a ball screen so that Jarvis could try to get an angle and drive it.”
Summers took advantage of extra opportunities with Dayton overextending on Henderson, who didn’t score until the 18:55 mark of the second half with the Flyers forcing him to pass with constant double teams. Summers, who eclipsed the 20-point mark for the fourth time in the last five games, went 9-for-15 from the field and 10-for-12 from the free throw line, but there wasn’t much offensive production elsewhere.
“Jarvis is our best player,” Kennedy said. “He’s not our most hyped player, but he’s our best player and has been all season.”
The Rebels open Southeastern Conference play at home against Auburn on Thursday.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of Saturday’s game. (January 5, 2014)