When Stefan Moody scores 39 points in a game, nine times out of 10 you can pencil that in as a victory.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, this was one of those games where Moody didn’t have enough help from his teammates to get the win as Alabama (18-13, 8-10 SEC) defeated Ole Miss (20-12, 10-8 SEC) 81-73 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Video by: Browning Stubbs | NewsWatch99
“Well some of that is my job. I embrace that,” Ole Miss senior guard Stefan Moody said. “I don’t look at my teammates and complain at them for anything. It’s my job and I do what I can.”
Moody’s 39 points set an Ole Miss record for the most points in an SEC Tournament game, and he ranks third all-time for the single SEC Tournament record for points in a game.
The senior finished the game going 12-of-27 from the floor, including 8-of-17 from beyond the arc.
“He’s been a special player for us,” Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. “You try not to heap too much praise on one of your current players while you’re in the grind. Now that we’re done and you look back, I mean, obviously, he’s the most dynamic playmaker in the history of our program, most certainly in my ten years.”
Halfway through the first half, Ole Miss and Alabama were neck and neck at 19. After a 7-0 Crimson Tide run, Alabama did not look back as they kept the lead the rest of the game.
Ole Miss had a grand opportunity to capitalize on the Tide in the first half as leading scorer Retin Obasohan picked up two early fouls in the game.
Alabama would pick up the slack as the team knocked down eight 3-pointers in the first half.
Ole Miss was also plagued with foul trouble as junior forward Sebasitan Saiz picked up two fouls early on in the game, only playing nine minutes in the half.
“Believe it or not, it was kind of a blessing in disguise when Obasohan got in foul trouble, “Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. “It definitely helps our offense when we shoot the three like we shot it tonight, especially when Retin is struggling a little bit offensively.”
With the game tied at 40 with 18:30 remaining in the game, Alabama would go on a 26-12 run to secure the victory. Obasohan scored all 17 of his points in the second half.
“They came in and made plays when they needed to in order to advance,” Kennedy said. “Honestly, that’s what this time of season comes down to. I don’t think you ever have to worry about guys playing hard and playing with a sense of desperation, and I thought both clubs did that. Outstanding job by Alabama.”
With 30 seconds remaining in the game, Moody fouled out, and received a standing ovation from Bridgestone Arena, a handshake with Alabama head coach Avery Johnson, and a hug from Andy Kennedy.
“I guess it’s a good feeling, but I’m still consumed by the fact that we lost,” Moody said. “I like winning.”
The Rebels fall to 18-3 on the season when they win the rebounding battle as Ole Miss out rebounded Alabama 43-35 in this game.
Alabama blocked 12 shots and Ole Miss blocked none.
Ole Miss made 11 3-pointers in the game.
Quote Of The Game
“I was just playing the game and letting it come to me. I was just picking my spots as they came,” Moody said. “It wasn’t one thing I was looking more towards than the other. I was just taking it as it came.”
With Alabama eliminating Ole Miss, the Rebels hope to be selected into the NIT. The NIT Selection Show will be Sunday evening at 7:30 on ESPN U. The NIT field consists of 32 total teams. Regular season conference champions who fail to make the NCAA Tournament field are automatic qualifiers.