OXFORD, Miss. (AP)—South Carolina forward Dominique Archie knew the ball was going in the basket the instant he let it go.
The 3-pointer Archie hit with 5.9 seconds left to play lifted South Carolina to a 80-77 upset of No. 24 Mississippi on Saturday.
“It felt good when it left my hand and I could see it going all the way down,” Archie said.
Mississippi had trailed much of the game but pulled ahead 77-75 on David Huertas’ 3-pointer with 1:25 left. South Carolina (11-10, 3-4 SEC) forced a miss by the Rebels (16-4, 3-4) with 39 seconds left, setting up Archie’s 3-pointer.
A pass from Devan Downey set up the winning shot.
“We didn’t have a timeout and I told Devan to drive and kick it back when the defense collapsed,” South Carolina head coach Dave Odom said. “When you’re on the road, you go for the win and that was our best shot.”
Archie said he was in the right spot at the right time.
“I knew Devan would find the open man on the last play,” Archie said. “It just turned out to be me. I floated to the top of the line and saw the ball coming. After that, I knew what was going to happen.”
After Archie’s game-winning shot, South Carolina forced a turnover with 1.1 seconds left.
Downey hit a pair of game-ending free throws—that Downey would score the final points was particularly fitting.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy’s final game as coach of Cincinnati occurred against South Carolina in the 2006 National Invitation Tournament. Kennedy took the job at Mississippi moments afterward, and Downey—his prized pupil with the Bearcats—transferred to South Carolina.
“I thought we were passive defensively,” Kennedy said. “Archie stepped up and had a huge game. Downey had a monster night in every category with seven assists and six rebounds. Give them credit. It puts us back to square one.”
Dwayne Curtis had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Rebels, becoming the 30th player to score more than 1,000 career points at Mississippi. Chris Warren and Zach Graham had 14 points apiece, and Huertas finished with 13 for Ole Miss, which was coming off a big win over No. 19 Vanderbilt and lost at home for the first time in 11 games.
“South Carolina has never won in here, ever,” Odom said. “This is a team that had won 26 out of 27 home games. It’s very, very tough to win in here and this is a huge road win for us.”