OXFORD, Miss.–Eight Mississippi players kneeled during the national anthem in response to a Confederacy rally near the arena before the Rebels’ 72-71 victory over Georgia on Saturday.
With the teams lined up across the court at free throw lines, six players took a knee and bowed at the start of the “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Two other players later joined them.
The Confederacy demonstration took place a few hundred feet from the arena. In the aftermath of violence at a similar rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Oxford community has been on alert. Various student groups held counter-protests on campus Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, one began on the city square and ended at the Confederate monument in the heart of the Ole Miss campus
Breein Tyree led Ole Miss (19-8, 9-5 Southeastern Conference) with 17 points. Devontae Shuler added 16, and Terence Davis had 13. Rayshaun Hammonds led Georgia (10-17, 1-13) with 16 points.
Georgia opened the second half on a 14-2 run, taking a 43-51 lead on Jordan Harris’ layup. Shuler hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining to put the Rebels up 72-69. Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton made a jumper to finish the scoring with 1:02 to go.
Tyree Crump missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Georgia. The Bulldogs have lost eight straight.
Georgia: Hosts Auburn on Wednesday night.
Ole Miss: Hosts No. 5 Tennessee on Wednesday night.