The Mississippi State Bulldogs traveled to the Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday night carrying a 15â3 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 couldnât get over the hump at that point.Â
âThey started out well early in the game and we fought from behind all night long, never got over the hump,â 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
âI thought (Buckner) was tremendous tonight,â said Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy. â(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 Reggieâs best game of the season when we needed it the most.â
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
âBuckner was probably the difference in the game,â said Stansbury. âBuckner, they got more from him than Iâm sure they anticipated.â