Saiz’s career night leads Ole Miss to win over GSU
Ole Miss forward Sebastian Saiz picked up his fourth double-double to lead the Rebels to a win over Georgia Southern on Monday night.OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy challenged forward Sebastian Saiz in the offseason to become a player who earned double-doubles consistently.Ole Miss guard Stefan Moody takes a shot past a Georgia Southern defender on Monday at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford. Ole Miss won 82-72.Saiz produced his second consecutive double-double in leading the Rebels to an 82-72 win against Georgia Southern on Monday night. He finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds, both career highs.The junior entered this season with two career double-doubles, one apiece in his first two years.Despite the victory, Kennedy said there was a lot he didn’t like, though in a somewhat lighthearted tone.“I’m more frustrated with the Ole Miss Rebels,” he said. “I know we practiced. I have the video evidence in case you want to see. I wish our attention to detail was better. I just wish we had better carry-over. I wish our energy was better. I wish our focus was better. I wish we were tougher. I wish we made athletic plays at the rim. I wish we ran offense. I wish we guarded.”He paused before adding: “Good kids, though. Great kids.”The Rebels (2-0) needed to survive a late Georgia Southern rally for the win. The Eagles (1-1) went on a 7-0 run over a 2:40 stretch midway through the second half to trim their deficit to three points, 59-56. The Rebels missed five field goals and committed two fouls and one turnover during the poor stretch of play.Guard Martavious Newby broke the scoreless spurt with consecutive free throws.The Eagles pulled to within five points, 75-70, with 44 seconds left after making three consecutive field goals, while the Rebels were mired in a 2 for 13 shooting slump from the field. However, guard Stefan Moody drained four free throws to ice the game.Saiz battled foul trouble throughout the game, picking up his third with 18:50 remaining in the second half. He exited in favor of forward Marcanvis Hymon, but the Rebels were able to hold nearly even with the Eagles with Saiz on the bench for slightly less than five minutes.Saiz committed his fourth foul with 3:07 remaining in the game, and Georgia Southern trimmed its deficit to eight points, 68-60, following consecutive free throws.Forward Tomasz Gielo also picked up his third foul early in the second half, forcing him to the bench in favor of forward Anthony Perez for about four minutes.Perez was playing with his left wrist wrapped after falling hard to the floor in the first half.The Eagles pulled to within two points, 37-35, with 2:30 left in the opening period, but Moody scored five consecutive points over the final 44 seconds to give the Rebels a 46-35 left at halftime.Contact Daniel Paulling at [email protected] Follow @DanielPaulling on Twitter.