Published January 13, 2015
Marshall Henderson says if Mississippi fans want to take it out on anybody, they can take it out on him.
Mississippi's swaggering shooting guard, who draws about as much attention as anyone else in college basketball, said he's to blame for La Salle's 76-74 victory in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
"We should still be playing. I'm not satisfied with this," Henderson said. "We should have done better. That's just kind of me and how I always think. I'm a perfectionist in a way. I always think you should do better.
"We'll just move on, go back home, go to class tomorrow and just see what happens from there."
Henderson's 21 points led the Rebels (27-9), who fell one win shy of setting a single-season team record. Murphy Holloway had 14, Jarvis Summers had 12 and Nick Williams had 10.
"This is my fault," said Henderson, a 6-foot-2 junior. "This is my fault because I didn't make plays."
Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with 2 seconds left for the 13th-seeded Explorers, who are deeper into the tournament than any time since in 1955, when they advanced to the championship game of the 24-team field.
"Time was running out, and I felt like I could get the drive," Garland said. "When I cut, I just saw an opening and took the ball up."
By inches, the ball off the hands of the 6-foot-1 Garland cleared the outstretched hands of Reginald Buckner, the Rebels' muscular 6-9 center.
"He blocked my shot a couple times during the game, but I ain't scared of nobody," Garland said. "I went in there and knew if I could get an open shot, I could make it."
In the regional semifinals in Los Angeles on Friday, the Explorers will meet ninth-seeded Wichita State.
And all the Rebels can do is sit and watch.
"They're very quick," Williams said of the shorter four-guard lineup of the Explorers. "We tried to come out man-to-man in the first half and they were driving right by us. They wanted it more. They wanted it more, and they had to make plays at the end, and that's what they did."
Ramon Galloway had 24 points for La Salle, the last remaining team in the tournament from the Atlantic 10. The Explorers (24-9) were playing their third game in five days after starting the tournament in the First Four on Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio.
But they showed no fatigue.
"We're pretty young. It just feels like AAU all over again. We play a game, go to sleep, wake up, play another game," said Galloway. "We're pretty excited for the whole trip."
No. 12 Ole Miss led 74-72 with 1:58 left but failed to reach the regional semifinals for the first time since 2001.
"I've always said that winning teams make winning plays, and to La Salle's credit, they made the winning plays down the stretch," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said.
"We couldn't contain them off the dribble," Kennedy said. "We couldn't contain them even in a zone."
After Tyreek Duren's two foul shots tied it 74-all at the 1:07 mark, Henderson missed an off-balance bank shot that would have given the Rebels the lead.
Duren had 19 points for La Salle and Garland had 17.
The Rebels, who were a miserable 10 for 21 from the foul line.
In the frantic final seconds, Mississippi's LaDarius White missed from the top of the key and the ball scooted out of bounds while everybody went for the rebound.
The Rebels were given possession and Henderson's off-balance shot failed to draw iron. Before he could launch another try, the buzzer sounded, giving La Salle possession with 33.2 seconds left even though Henderson pleaded with an official, saying, "He took my hand off."
"I know I was fouled and the ref knows I was fouled but he said he's not calling a foul with 1 second left (on the shot clock)," Henderson said later. "I drove in, got the rebound and when I went up, he took my whole left hand out and I was like, 'That's a foul.'"