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Box Score

March 10, 2005

AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) – Tommie Eddie scored 17 points and Mississippi held on for a 53-52 victory over South Carolina when the officials overturned a tying 3-pointer by the Gamecocks in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament Thursday.

Todd Abernethy hit two free throws with 7.6 seconds left, giving the Rebels (14-16) a 53-50 lead.

Tre Kelley hustled down the court for South Carolina (15-13) and threw up what seemed to be a desperation 3 over Abernethy’s outstretched arm. The ball hit high on the backboard and banked through the hoop with 1.7 seconds to go, apparently tying the game.

The Gamecocks even stole the inbounds pass near midcourt, managing to call timeout with just under a second remaining to set up another chance to win the game.

But during the break, the officials went to the scoring table to review a replay of Kelley’s shot. After studying the play from several angles, they ruled that the tip of Kelley’s right shoe was touching the arc, making it a 2-point basket.

South Carolina still had the ball, but Brandon Wallace’s shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim to preserve the Rebels’ victory.

Ole Miss advanced to Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 20 Alabama, co-champion of the SEC West. South Carolina can only hope for a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.

Eddie gave the Rebels a strong presence on the inside, hitting 8-of-12 shots. Ed Glass added 15 points, including a basket with just under five minutes remaining that pushed Ole Miss to a 49-41 lead, its biggest of the game.

South Carolina rallied behind Carlos Powell, his team’s only double-figure scorer with 21 points.

Powell converted a three-point play with 2{ minutes left to pull the Gamecocks to 51-48, then Tarence Kinsey made it a 51-50 with a couple of free throws.

But South Carolina never made it all the way back. Powell missed a 3-pointer, and Kelley spun into the lane to get off a shot that lingered on the front of the rim before dropping off.

Then, with 35 seconds left, Eddie bobbled a pass in the lane and South Carolina grabbed the loose ball, getting another chance for the go-ahead basket. But Kinsey couldn’t hit a 3-pointer, and Brandon Wallace’s attempted putback rolled across the back of the rim. Abernethy grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit the two free throws that turned out to be the difference.

The Gamecocks missed plenty of shots, connecting on just 37 percent (19 of 51) from the field. Powell was 9 of 17, but the other starters combined to make just 6 of 21.