OXFORD, Mississippi (Ticker) -- Coming off a rough outing, Justin Reed was not going to allow 23rd-ranked South Carolina to win for the first time ever at Mississippi.
Reed poured in a career-high 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to power the Rebels to a 79-68 Southeastern Conference victory.
The 6-8 Reed earned SEC Player of the Week honors after totaling 44 points and 20 rebounds in a pair of victories over Louisiana State and Alabama. He made just 6-of-20 shots for 15 points and committed three turnovers in Wednesday's 71-61 loss at Kentucky.
"Coach (Rod Barnes) stressed to us after the Kentucky game that we have to remain focused," Reed said. "We came out early in the game today and played lackadaisical. Coach called a timeout and told us we had to get focused. I also decided I had to raise my intensity level. I knew it I did that the rest of the team would see what I was doing and feed off it."
Reed eclipsed that total early in the second half as Mississippi (11-7, 3-4) pulled away after a 30-30 tie at the break. Aaron Harper added 13 points for Ole Miss, which shot better than 48 percent (15-of-31) in the second half and improved to 7-0 all-time at home vs. South Carolina.
"Justin is a great player and has worked hard to get to where he is," Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes said. "He's worked to improve his ballhandling. It says a lot that he can post up down low and shoot the jumper as well. Justin and Todd (Abernathy) worked hard in practice with each other and you could see today that they were on the same page with each other."
Josh Gonner scored 20 points and Carlos Powell added 14 for South Carolina (18-3, 5-2), which had a five-game winning streak halted. The Gamecocks were without freshman forward Renaldo Balkman, who was suspended for his role in Wednesday's fight at Vanderbilt.
The Rebels outscored the Gamecocks in the paint, 36-26, and held a 17-4 advantage in second-chance points.
"Our defense gave up high-percentage shots and Ole Miss took advantage of that," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "Justin Reed hit great field goals and was also great from the free-throw line. Reed always works hard and comes to play. He is definitely one of the best in our league."
The Rebels have won two of their last three games after going winless in their first three SEC contests.
"In several of those first few games we didn't play well and, as a coach, the one thing I don't like is when we don't give it our all and play the way we're capable of playing," Barnes said.
The Gamecocks never led in the second half, but tied the game at 44-44 on a pair of free throws by freshman Tre Kelly with 13:51 to play. The Rebels responded with a 6-0 burst, taking a 50-44 lead on a layup by Reed with 10:51 left.
Harper capped another 6-0 surge with a pair of free throws to make it 56-47 with 7:58 left and the Gamecocks did not threaten thereafter.