This game will sting for quite a while. – Dave Rose

DAYTON, Ohio — Three years later, BYU knows how Iona felt.

The No. 11-seeded Cougars squandered a 17-point halftime lead and fell to No. 11 Ole Miss 94-90 in the NCAA tournament First Four Tuesday night at UD Arena.

“Welcome to March Madness,” said Rebel coach Andy Kennedy.

What Ole Miss did to BYU was reminiscent of what the Cougars did to Iona in 2012, when BYU rallied from a 25-point deficit, an NCAA tournament record, to defeat Iona with a big second-half turnaround.

“It was pretty similar to what happened (three) years ago,” said BYU coach Dave Rose. “It was a tale of two halves.”

In an amazing performance over the final 20 minutes, Ole Miss shot 60 percent and scored 62 points.

It began with an impassioned plea by Kennedy to his team at halftime.

“We wanted to show that we were worthy of this (NCAA tournament) selection,” Kennedy said.

His team responded.

The Cougars’ sensational 3-point shooting in the first half disappeared in the second half, and the Rebels capitalized.

With the win Ole Miss (21-12) advances to the round of 64 Thursday (2:10 p.m., MDT, TBS) against No. 6 Xavier in Jacksonville, Fla.

BYU returns to Provo, having ending its season with a 25-10 record and a bitter defeat.

“This game will sting for quite a while,” said Rose.

Tyler Haws scored a game-high 33 points for the Cougars and Chase Fischer added 23. Ole Miss was led by guard Stefan Moody, who poured in 26 points. M.J. Rhett killed the Cougars inside with 20 points.

The Rebels outscored BYU 42-12 in the paint, outscored the Cougars 25-0 on points off turnovers and outscored BYU 16-4 on second-chance points. The Cougars coughed up 15 turnovers, thanks in part to traps by the Ole Miss defense.

“They were really active in the second half and we turned the ball over too many times,” Rose said. “Offensive rebounds were a problem for us … Turnovers were the difference in the game.”

Ole Miss mounted its comeback early in the second half by penetrating to the basket and scored a flurry of points inside, including thunderous dunks. Moody also buried big 3’s.

The Rebels enjoyed a 15-2 run that turned a 66-57 deficit into a 72-68 lead.

“The entire game changed when we changed the tempo,” Kennedy said.

The Cougars trailed 89-97 with 37 seconds remaining, but couldn’t get any closer.

“I feel for our guys,” Rose said. “We played well enough to win, we just couldn’t finish it off.

“We did enough offensively to win the game,” Haws said. “We found a rhythm in the first half, but it got away from us in the second half. We didn’t have an answer for them defensively in the second half. We had trouble taking care of the ball and that led to easy buckets for them.”

Fischer set the tone early for BYU, scoring the Cougars’ first 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

BYU jumped out to a 17-9 lead before Ole Miss, behind Moody’s back-to-back 3-pointers, cut the deficit to 19-18.

Then Haws got hot, hitting his last seven field goals of the first half and the Cougars rolled up a double-digit lead on the Rebels.

At halftime, BYU had a 49-32 advantage. Haws had 19 and Fischer chipped in 17, including four 3-pointers, in the first half. As a team, the Cougars knocked down 10 of 15 3-pointers.

Ole Miss, meanwhile, made just 12 of 40 shots from the field over the opening 20 minutes.

“BYU was in complete control in the first half,” Kennedy said.

But the final 20 minutes belonged to Ole Miss.

“They were too good in the second half,” Rose said.