Murphy Holloway (31) of Ole Miss is fouled by MississippiÂ State's Gavin Ware (20) during Wednesday's game in Oxford. (Photo by Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle, AP)
OXFORD â€“ The Mississippi State men's basketball team dug itself a hole that it just couldn't climb out of.
The Bulldogs (7-14, 2-7) fell to the Ole Miss Rebels (18-4, 6-3) 93-75 Wednesday night inside Tad Smith Coliseum.
MSU has now lost seven-straight.Â
The Bulldogs took control of the tipoff. On the very first possession, MSU pulled down two offensive rebounds. Starkville native Gavin Ware got the second and put the ball in the basket to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the early going.
The Rebels answered with a 19-0 run to take a 19-2 lead. The Bulldogs turned the ball over seven times during the run.
"I thought our approach was pretty good out of the gate," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. "We guarded and we shot it pretty good."
MSU junior guard Jalen Steele knocked down a jumper with just over 12 minutes remaining in the opening half to end the run for Ole Miss.Â
"I thought we did a poor job of taking things away that Ole Miss is good at," MSU head coach Rick Ray said. "We can't give up 93 points. Our defensive effort wasn't very good."
The Rebels took a 42-20 lead late in the first half. As time was running down Bulldog junior walk-on Tyson Cunningham knocked down a deep 3-pointer as time expired to make it 42-23 Ole Miss at the break.
MSU out-rebounded the Rebels 20-15 in the first half and pulled down 10 offensive boards to two for Ole Miss.Â
The Bulldogs shot only 30.3 percent (10-of-33) from the field in the first half. They only knocked down 2-of-11 3-pointers for 18.2 percent.
The Rebels were 15-of-26 for 57.7 percent from the field. They only knocked down one 3-pointer in six tries. Marshall Henderson had the lone 3 for Ole Miss but he missed four.
The second half opened up with both teams trading baskets.
Henderson was accessed a technical foul as MSU lined up to shoot free throws with just over 14 minutes to play in the second half.
Steele knocked down both free throws from the technical foul and the two he was already awarded. It pulled the Bulldogs within 13 points at 52-39.
"Our guys came back and played good in the second half," Ray said.
Bulldog sophomore forward Roquez Johnson fouled out with 7:21 remaining in the game. Junior forward Colin Borchert picked up his fifth foul with 7:06 to go.
MSU pulled within 13 points at 71-58, with 5:10 left.Â
Craig Sword took it the length of the court and slammed it home to make it 71-60 Rebels. Ole Miss answered on the other end to push its lead back out.
State found itself down 11 points again around the four minute mark. The Bulldogs only trailed 73-62.
Fred Thomas knocked down an awkward 3-pointer to make it 75-65. Henderson answered on the other end with a 3-pointer to make it a 13-point Ole Miss lead.
"In the second half I thought we coasted and give Mississippi State credit," Kennedy said.
Ware exited the game with his fifth foul at the 1:19 mark.
Henderson led the Rebels with 31 points. He was 6-of-14 in 3-point shooting. Murphy Holloway added 24 points, Reginald Buckner chipped in 12 and Jarvis Summers scored 11.
Sword led MSU with 17 points. Steele added 15 and Thomas chipped in 13 points.Â
The Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the No. 2 (Associated Press) Florida Gators. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports South.
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