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After first loss, Ole Miss aims to rebound vs. Florida

after-first-loss,-ole-miss-aims-to-rebound-vs.-florida

Ole Miss has accomplished a lot so far in Chris Beard’s first season as head coach.

The Rebels tied a school record by winning their first 13 games of the season and entered The Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Now Ole Miss (13-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) will have to respond to a loss for the first time this season when they host Florida on Wednesday in Oxford, Miss. The Rebels dropped a 90-64 decision to No. 5 Tennessee in their conference opener on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Beard called the loss to Tennessee “a tale of two halves” after the Rebels allowed a 3-pointer with two seconds left to give the Volunteers a nine-point halftime lead. Tennessee outscored Ole Miss 50-33 in the second half.

“They executed their game plan a lot better than we did in the second half,” he said. “They definitely handled us in the second half. They were more physical than us, more competitive. They executed a lot better than we did. They just kicked us in the second half.”

The Gators (10-4, 0-1) also are coming off a loss in their conference opener. They were competitive at home against No. 6 Kentucky before seeing their six-game winning streak come to a halt in an 87-85 defeat.

The Wildcats’ Aaron Bradshaw made a 3-pointer to break a 76-all tie with 1:27 left and Reed Sheppard helped keep Kentucky on top by making six consecutive free throws in the final 19 seconds.

“One shot here, one turnover there, that’s the tough thing,” Florida coach Todd Golden said. “One possession could have changed the direction of the game.

“It’s all part of the growth of where we’re trying to get. We led for 30 minutes. We were right there. That’s going to sting. No moral victories, but fair to say this program is on the right track.”

–Field Level Media

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