TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The shot clock was dwindling when Andrew Steele found himself with the ball and only one option: Shoot in a hurry.
Steele drilled the long jump shot with 31 seconds left in the second overtime for a three-point lead and then hit 1 of 2 free throws on the next possession, lifting Alabama to a 69-67 victory over Mississippi on Saturday night.
"Trevor (Releford) did a great job penetrating the defense," Steele said. "He lost it but I think he had got such great position that when I got it, it put me in a good spot to take a good shot.
"I looked up as I picked it up and I thought it was about 3 (seconds to shoot). I just tried to put it up toward the goal before the shot clock went off."
It went in for the Crimson Tide (15-7, 4-4 Southeastern Conference), who have won two straight after a four-game losing streak.
Jelan Kendrick then missed a shot for the Rebels (14-8, 4-4) and they sent Steele to the line. His first foul shot bounced off the rim and back in to make it a two-possession game with 15 seconds left.
Releford also made 1 of 2 from the line after that, and Jarvis Summers hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for Ole Miss for the final margin.
"I can't express enough how proud I am of our guys for the effort they showed tonight, the fight they had and the will to win," Crimson Tide coach Anthony Grant said. "That was all about heart and passion tonight. We had a lot of guys that really put it all out there on the line."
JaMychal Green led Alabama with 16 points and 12 rebounds before picking up his fifth foul just 24 seconds into the second overtime.
Tony Mitchell scored 14 points after coming off the bench for the first time this season. He had made just 15 of 50 shots over the previous five games, and Grant said the decision resulted from "just the week of practice." He went with a starting lineup that included three freshmen but had 11 players on the court for at least 8 minutes.
Charles Hankerson Jr., whose status was uncertain after having a minor procedure on his knee Monday, supplied a second-half spark and finished with 10 points.
"The passion he played with energized our team and helped us take it to another level," said Steele, who attempted three shots and had seven points.
Releford had seven points, five steals and four assists.
Nick Williams, a Mobile, Ala. native, led Ole Miss with 19 points. Terrance Henry added 14 while Reginald Buckner collected 11 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out in the first overtime.
Neither team got a field goal in the second overtime until the 2:19 mark. Then, Releford got a steal and passed to Steele to start a fast break. Steele found Mitchell, who slammed it into the basket for a 63-62 lead.
The Rebels missed a shot and Hankerson couldn't hit a 3-pointer for the Crimson Tide. Mitchell was fouled chasing down a long rebound, making both free throws for a 65-62 lead with 1:18 remaining.
Henry scored on a quick drive and Alabama worked 34 seconds off the shot clock before Steele salvaged the possession.
Steele rejoined the team in January after getting medically cleared to return after sustaining multiple concussions, and has supplied a steadying presence for a team that started a trio of freshmen.
In the first overtime, Henry blocked a Nick Jacobs shot to give the Rebels the ball with 16 seconds left.
Ole Miss had to inbound the ball when Releford knocked it away with 4.2 seconds left. Henry fired it in to Summers who had the ball poked loose from behind by Releford while streaking toward the basket.
"I thought the Red Sea parted, then he just knocked the ball out of his hands," Kennedy said. "Our Achilles heel is our inability to make plays with the ball."
As for Releford, Kennedy said: "The kid made a play when his team needed it and that separates winning from misery."
Mitchell punched the ball loose from Henry and Levi Randolph raced for an uncontested layup with 1:48 left in regulation to give Alabama a 54-51 lead. Henry tied it with a basket and free throw at the other end with 57 seconds to play.
Alabama got to run the clock down after a foul, but Randolph missed a baseline jumper at the buzzer to send it to overtime.
The Rebels shot 56 percent (14 of 25) in the first half but made 12 of 36 attempts (33 percent) the rest of the way.
"Our defense really turned up in the second half," Grant said. "As the overtimes continued, I think we got stronger defensively. We got more determined and more locked in."
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