Dayton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - In a tale of two halves, Ole Miss saved the best for last as it erased a 17-point halftime deficit to move on in the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday night.
Stefan Moody scored 26 points and M.J. Rhett recorded 20 in the Rebels' 94-90 win over BYU at University of Dayton Arena.
Ole Miss (21-12) outscored the Cougars 62-41 in the second half to surge back and advance to play sixth-seeded Xavier in Jacksonville on Thursday.
"We just wanted to show that we belonged to be here," said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy.
Jarvis Summers had 11 points with 10 assists and Sebastian Saiz totaled 10 points with nine rebounds in the win.
Tyler Haws did all he could for BYU (25-10), netting 19 of his 33 points in a high-scoring first half, while Chase Fischer finished with 23 points, although he scored 17 of those in the opening 20 minutes.
"This game will sting for quite a while," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "Our guys showed a lot of fight."
Kyle Collinsworth, who recorded an NCAA record six triple-doubles this season, tweaked his surgically repaired right knee in the first half and was not his dominant self for the Cougars. He finished with eight points on 1-of-7 shooting, but the stat-stuffing guard dished out 10 assists and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Rebels began to impose their will inside to begin the second half as they chipped away at the lengthy deficit.
Ole Miss opened the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second on a 20-8 run to cut the BYU lead down to 57-52. Collinsworth quelled the surge with a three-point play on a dunk from Haws. BYU built its lead back to double digits after a Skyler Halford triple, but the Rebels made another push to get back into the game and grab their first lead.
Rhett supplied 10 points as part of a 15-2 burst for Ole Miss, scoring four baskets in the paint -- including a pair of momentous dunks -- to help the Rebels take a 72-68 edge with 7:15 remaining.
Fischer canned a 3-pointer with under four minutes to play that pushed BYU back in front, 80-78. Martavious Newby countered with a layup at the other end off an offensive rebound to tie the game, and Moody followed a Haws jumper with a transition 3 to keep the seesaw affair going. Moody then drove the lane after a Cougars turnover and dished off to an open LaDarius White to extend the margin to 87-82 with 1:33 left.
Fischer did not let BYU go down easy as he buried a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game. Rhett converted a jumper from the top of the key on the ensuing Ole Miss possession, and it was a four-point spread when the Cougars failed to convert a 3-pointer on numerous chances with under 30 seconds left. Newby ended the frantic possession with a steal and hit two free throws to seal the win.
The Cougars showed why they are one of the best offensive teams in the country by putting on a shooting clinic in the opening half, as Haws and Fischer outscored Ole Miss by themselves.
Fischer scored BYU's first 11 points as it grabbed a 13-6 lead following a Haws jumper with 14 1/2 minutes remaining in the first. Moody netted successive 3-pointers to close a 9-2 run later in the half to cut the Rebels' deficit to 19-18, but Fischer and Haws responded with respective 3-pointers.
The trey from Haws started a string of 10 straight points from the senior guard. Halford got in on the action moments later, converting a 3-pointer to stretch the margin to double digits for the first time on the night.
Anson Winder's triple capped the scoring in the half to make it a 49-32 game in favor of the Cougars, who shot a blistering 16-of-28 from the floor -- including 10-of-15 from beyond the arc.
Haws moved into 20th place on the NCAA's all-time scoring list, passing Xavier's Byron Larkin, Lehigh's Daren Queenan and Northeastern's Reggie Lewis with his scoring output on Tuesday ... BYU is now 15-32 in the NCAA Tournament ... Ole Miss improved to 5-7 overall in the NCAA Tournament, last appearing in 2013, when they beat fifth-seeded Wisconsin before falling to La Salle ... The Rebels went 36-of-80 from the floor, while the Cougars made 28-of-58 shots ... BYU committed 15 turnovers in the loss.