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March 4, 2010

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DULUTH, GA (AP) – Bianca Thomas scored 22 points, and Shantell Black converted the deciding three-point play as Ole Miss rallied to beat South Carolina 64-63 today in the first game of the Southeastern Conference women’s basketball tournament.

Ole Miss returns to the Gwinnett Arena on Friday to face play No. 4 and top-seeded Tennessee (27-2), which has won 11 straight and is coming off its 15th SEC regular-season title.

The Rebels (17-13) had lost eight of their previous 10, but kept their composure after La’Keisha Sutton’s layup put South Carolina ahead 63-61 with 35.6 seconds remaining.

Black rebounded Thomas’ missed 3-point attempt and drove the lane for a three-point play with 16.3 seconds to go.

Kelsey Bone had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks (14-15). South Carolina dropped to 3-19 in SEC tournament games.