The Mississippi State Bulldogs traveled to the Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday night carrying a 15â€“3 record and a No. 18 ranking.
However, they left with a 75-68 loss at the hands of scrappy Ole Miss ballclub who received a career night from Reginald Buckner.Â
The Rebels (12-6, 2-2) jumped out to an early lead in the contest leading by as many as nine in the first half.Â The Bulldogs (15-4, 2-2) simply couldnâ€™t get over the hump at that point.Â
â€śThey started out well early in the game and we fought from behind all night long, never got over the hump,â€ť said MSU head coach Rick Stansbury.Â
State would battle back and take a one-point lead at 18-17. From that point, the two teams traded baskets over the next couple of possessions before the Rebels took the lead for good.Â
â€śI thought (Buckner) was tremendous tonight,â€ť said Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy. â€ś(Holloway) got those two early fouls and Reggie was out there on his own tonight. Â He really had to keep us a float early. This was by far Reggieâ€™s best game of the season when we needed it the most.â€ť
Buckner managed a career night with 19 points despite missing seven shots from the free-throw line. He also had a game-high 15 rebounds for the Rebels.Â
â€śBuckner was probably the difference in the game,â€ť said Stansbury. â€śBuckner, they got more from him than Iâ€™m sure they anticipated.â€ť