By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
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NASHVILLE –Marshall Henderson scored a game-high 23 points Saturday and third-seeded Ole Miss punched its ticket to its first Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship Game appearance since 2001 with a 64-52 win against 10th-seeded Vanderbilt at Bridgestone Arena.
Ole Miss (25-8) marches on to the SEC Tournament Championship Game, where it will face top-seeded Florida (26-6). Tip-off for the championship is slated for 1 p.m. ET Sunday on ABC. The Rebels are making their fifth all-time appearance in the SEC Tournament final.
Henderson’s 23 points came on 7-of-17 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers. Reginald Buckner added 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Murphy Holloway chipped in 12 points. Buckner brought down a game-high nine rebounds.
The Commodores led by as many as nine points in the game, but the Rebels rallied and went ahead by their largest lead of 18 points with 3:20 remaining.
Ole Miss shot 44.0 percent (22-of-50) from the field in the game, while limiting Vanderbilt to 33.9 percent (19-of-56) from the field. The Rebels out-rebounded the Commodores 41-36.
Vanderbilt (16-17) was led by Kedren Johnson’s team-high 12 points, while Kevin Bright had eight points and a game-high eight rebounds.
All-Time Series: Vanderbilt leads 74-41
In SEC Tournament Games: Ole Miss leads 4-3
Earlier this Season: on Jan. 15, Ole Miss won 89-79 in overtime at Vanderbilt
• Vanderbilt built a nine-point lead in the first half and was still ahead 26-18 when Ole Miss scored the last eight points to tie the game at halftime.
• Ole Miss took its first lead of the game on a dunk by Reginald Buckner at the beginning of the second half.
• Trailing 36-34, Ole Miss took control with an 11-0 run to make it 45-36 in favor of the Rebels.
• UM pushed the lead to 58-40, capping a 24-4 run. The Rebels led by double digits the rest of the way.
• Vanderbilt is 16-17 and the Commodores have won six of their last eight games.
• Kedren Johnson led VU with 12 points, the only Commodore to tally in double figures.
• Kevin Bright paced the VU rebounding with eight boards.
Ole Miss Notes:
• Ole Miss is 25-8 and has won six of its last seven.
• The Rebels limited Vanderbilt to 33.9 percent from the field (19 of 56). The Rebels are 13-0 this season when keeping the opponent under 40 percent shooting.
• Marshall Henderson, the SEC scoring leader, canned 23 points, his 17th 20-point game of the season.
• Reginald Bucker tallied 15 points, the most for him this season against an SEC opponent. He also snared a game-high nine rebounds.
• Murphy Holloway collected 12 points and added eight rebounds.
Looking Ahead to the Championship Game:
• Ole Miss is making its fifth appearance in the SEC Tournament championship game.
o Ole Miss is 1-3 in tourney title tilts.
o The Rebels’ previous appearances came in a 1938 loss to Georgia Tech, a 1981 win over Georgia, a 1990 loss vs. Alabama and a 2001 setback against Kentucky.
• Earlier this season: on Feb. 2, Florida defeated Ole Miss, 78-64, in Gainesville.