Dec. 4, 2004
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi had its opportunity and Jason Rich took it
Rich scored 12 points, including a layup on a steal in the final 12 seconds
Saturday to lift Florida State to a 69-64 win over Ole Miss.
Rich, a freshman reserve, scored seven of the final eight points for Florida
State (4-3), who nearly squandered a 16-point second-half lead.
“I thought the first half was the best half we’ve played this year. We lost
our focus in the second half, but that had more to do with Mississippi and
their defense, plus their shooting on the perimeter,” Florida State coach
Leonard Hamilton said. “This is one of the tough places in America to get a
road win and we’re fortunate to get one.”
Ole Miss (2-4) had an opportunity to tie the game on the final possession,
but Rich forced the turnover and quickly converted the layup that sealed it.
“He’s a gifted player,” Hamilton said.
“What he did in the final eight minutes doesn’t surprise me because that’s
the type of player he is. Obviously, he made the big play when we needed it.”
Londrick Nolen and Justin Johnson had 14 points apiece, while Tommie Eddie
added 13 and a game-high nine rebounds for Ole Miss.
The Rebels rallied from a 47-31 deficit with 17:46 remaining, but failed on
four possessions with an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the final seven
“We’re close. We’ve lost two close games (Arkansas State and Florida State)
when we’ve come from behind with a chance to win it,” Mississippi coach Rod
Barnes said. “It’s tough, but it’s clear that we’re still getting better.
There were opportunities in the first half to fold the tent and we didn’t. But
we had a chance to win the game and we didn’t.”
Florida State led 44-28 at halftime as Todd Galloway and Richardson had
eight points apiece. Galloway hit three consecutive shots, including a pair of
3-pointers as the Seminoles snapped an early 4-4 tie with a 10-0 run that gave
them a lead they never surrendered.