Ole Miss snaps 4-game losing streak, beats Auburn
OXFORD – Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy is a pop culture fan, especially when it comes to comparisons of comic book superheroes and point guards.
“We got our Batman back. Everybody wants to be Batman, but Stefan Moody is Batman for us,” said Kennedy, after Moody scored 24 points, 22 in the second half, as the Rebels snapped a four-game losing streak with an 80-63 win over Auburn.
Moody returned to the lineup after missing one full game and part of another with a hamstring injury. Despite limited mobility and an occasional grimace of pain, Moody ignited the decisive second half rally for the Rebels (13-7, 3-5 Southeastern Conference).
“I am so proud of his effort and he is so important to us in a big, big way,” Kennedy said. “He was tight early but once he hits a couple of shots, he feels better about life and we’re a much different team when he is out there.”
Moody connected on three consecutive 3-point shots within a two-minute stretch to highlight a 19-4 second half run. The surge built an insurmountable 57-41 cushion with 12:22 left. The Rebels led by as many as 20 points and were never threatened again.
Marcanvis Hymon added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels, rallying from a 30-29 halftime deficit. The Rebels were 28 of 62 (45 percent) from the field, including 19 of 34 (56 percent) in the second half.
“Hymon was outstanding. We had the statistical edge in the categories that are really important to us – rebounding and forcing turnovers,” Kennedy said. “A lot of good things from a lot of guys tonight.”
TJ Lang scored a career-high 19 points for Auburn (9-10, 3-5). Tyler Harris added 16 for the Tigers, who finished 20 of 54 (37 percent) from the field. Auburn led 30-29 at halftime.
“It was great to see TJ Lang play with confidence and that’s a positive,”
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “But it was obviously a tale of two halves. Andy made great adjustments, Moody played at his tempo, rebounding was a huge factor and in the second half, they destroyed us.”
Ole Miss out rebounded the Tigers 40-33, highlighted by a 28-10 edge by the reserves. and forced 13 turnovers. The Rebels turned the ball over twice in the second half, as Moody handed out five assists.
By Chris Burrows, Associated Press