Derrick Millinghaus made a driving basket with 1.1 seconds left Friday as No. 3 seed Mississippi rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat No. 6 seed Missouri 64-62 in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Mississippi (24-8) advanced to a Saturday semifinal against No. 10 seed Vanderbilt (16-16), which upset No. 2 seed Kentucky 64-48. The Rebels also boosted their chances of earning their first NCAA tournament bid since 2002.
After Mississippi’s Marshall Henderson stole a Laurence Bowers inbounds pass at midcourt, the Rebels called timeout with 27 seconds remaining. Millinghaus drove into the lane and gave Mississippi its first lead since pulling ahead 11-10 with 12:34 left in the first half.
Mississippi’s Marshall Henderson scored 27 points, including 20 in the second half. Millinghaus scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Alex Oriakhi had 16 points, Phil Pressey scored 13 and Earnest Ross added 12 for Missouri (22-10).
Henderson’s fearless shooting and fiery attitude has thrilled Mississippi fans and irritated the Rebels’ opponents all season, and he was as polarizing as ever Friday. He taunted Missouri fans during the Tigers’ second-half meltdown and celebrated on the scorer’s table after the game.
Missouri led 42-28 early in the second half and still had a 13-point advantage with 13:24 remaining before Henderson led the Rebels on a furious comeback. Reginald Buckner’s dunk with 2:44 left capped a 10-1 run and tied the score at 57-57.
It went back and forth from there.
Missouri regained the lead on an Oriakhi putback with 2:21 left, but Henderson tied it again by hitting both ends of a one-and-one with 1:08 remaining. Pressey made a 3-pointer to put Missouri ahead 62-59 with 46.2 seconds left, but Millinghaus answered 17 seconds later with his own 3-pointer.
Bowers then threw an inbounds pass that appeared to be intended for Keion Bell, but Henderson intercepted it. That turnover allowed Millinghaus to complete Mississippi’s comeback, touching off a wild postgame celebration as the Rebels dove on the floor near midcourt.
Mississippi’s dramatic victory gave the Rebels’ NCAA tournament hopes a major lift on a day when other SEC bubble teams such as Tennessee and Kentucky lost.
Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy is the first Rebels coach ever to win 20 games in four straight seasons and the fifth coach in SEC history to reach the 20-win mark in six of his first seven seasons in the league. But the Rebels haven’t earned an NCAA bid during his tenure.
The Rebels seemed poised to break through this year when they raced to a 17-2 start that included a 6-0 mark in conference play, but they split their final 12 regular-season games. That late-season slide included losses to South Carolina (14-18) and Mississippi State (10-22).