OXFORD – In what has become a painful common theme Ole Miss saw another SEC win opportunity slip away in the second half Tuesday night.
No. 17 Auburn rallied from second-half deficits of 19 and 14 points to beat Ole Miss 83-82 in double overtime before 8,125 fans at The Pavilion.
Ole Miss pushed a 37-20 halftime lead to 19 in the first minute of the second half, but the Tigers cut the lead below 10.
The Rebels pushed the lead back to 17 on the second of back-to-back 3-pointers by Blake Hinson with 12:35 left, but Auburn charged back.
The last double-figure lead for Ole Miss came on two Devontae Shuler free throws with 6:05 left.
Ole Miss has lost second-half leads in four of its SEC losses, three of those leads double figures.
The other was a six-point edge against SEC unbeaten LSU who the Rebels (10-10, 1-6 SEC) face in Baton Rouge Saturday.
The Rebels led the Tigers 67-61 with 6:57 remaining in Oxford on Jan. 18.
“Our team’s getting better. Our team’s playing better, there’s no question about that,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “We don’t feel like a 1-6 team, we don’t look like a 1-6 team, but we are one.”
Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree fouled out with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in regulation, and the Rebels did not score another field goal until Shuler's floater with 3:25 left in the first overtime. That gave Ole Miss a 69-67 lead, but Auburn got a 3-pointer from Danjel Purifoy on the ensuing possession.
The Rebels had only two field goals in the first 10-plus minutes after Tyree's exit.
"You lose Breein Tyree off our team for what was now the last 15 minutes of the game that's hard for our team to absorb," Davis said.
Shuler led the Rebels with 26 points. Hinson added 16, Khadim Sy 13.
“We’ve got to do the things at the end of games to win. We could easily be right in the middle of things. We’ve got to keep fighting. We’ve got another opportunity on Saturday.”