Ole Miss basketball was coming off a loss against Georgia and needed too find a win against their in-state rivals Miss State. The Rebels found the win Saturday afternoon.
So far this has been a season of ups and downs for Ole Miss basketball. Coming off a road loss at Georgia the Rebels needed to bounce back against Miss State Saturday. Ole Miss (9-6, 2-1) knew it would be a battle facing Miss State (13-2, 1-1) and needed to find a way to win. Miss State was coming off a SEC opening win over No.22 ranked Arkansas and had momentum coming into Oxford.
It wasn’t an easy win for the Rebels by any means. The Rebels were down by 6 at the half because of poor shooting and the defense couldn’t find a solid way to stop the Bulldogs. However, the Rebels outscored the Bulldogs 36-24 in the second half behind solid defense and an unstoppable offense. The Rebels found the 64-58 win over the Bulldogs and also found their second SEC win of the season.
The win was huge for Ole Miss because of it being a solid SEC win in The Pavilion. When you factor in the rivalry between the two schools it’s important X 1000. According to Brian Scott Rippee of OleMissSports.com,
"“The win was the Ole Miss’ eighth over MSU in the past nine meetings of the in-state rivalry, and it also gave head coach Andy Kennedy his 100th SEC victory.” ~Brian Scott Rippee"
Of course, the game was highly anticipated by fans from both schools. Over the past several years the dominance of coach Andy Kennedy over Miss State has been a mainstay of Ole Miss Rebels basketball. This win wasn’t a fluke win for the Rebels. Of course, Andy Kennedy teams have been known for second-half heroics over the years. Saturday was no exception and the numbers tell the story.
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
As always the only numbers which really matter is the final score which was 68-45. However, there are numbers which reflect the game in the stat-line and tell the story of the game. Of course, when we look at the numbers we first check out the team numbers.
Ole Miss as a team shot 21 of 62 from the field for 33.9%. Miss State shot slightly better going 22 of 63 for 34.9% from the field. Both teams played great defense in the game, however poor shooting was also a factor. The Bullys outscored the Rebels in the first half 34-28 but Ole Miss outscored the Bullys 36-24 in the second.
From the charity stripe the Rebels had the advantage in the game. Ole Miss shot 15 of 22 from the line for 68.2% while MSU went only 9 of 17 for 52.9%. Of course, Ole Miss had more opportunities at the line and will continue to in coming games. It is essential to their success they improve shooting free throws.
Beyond the arc Ole Miss shot just below Miss State. The Rebels were 21 of 62 for 33.9% while the Bullys went 22 of 63 for 34.9 from 3-point distance. Coach Andy Kennedy noted there were bad shots taken in the first half. Ole Miss has guys who can shoot from distance however there has been a problem with shot selection and consistency.
Individual Rebels Numbers
The Rebels had three players who scored in double digits Saturday afternoon. Deandre Burnett led all Rebels on the floor with 21 points while getting 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Sophomore Breein Tyree took charge late in the second half and helped secure the win for the Rebels. Tyree went for 16 points in the game while also adding 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. Devontae Shuler added 10 points while getting a rebound, an assist and 3 steals.
Bruce Stevens scored 7 points while getting 5 boards, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot. Graduate transfer Markel Crawford added 6 points while also getting 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot. Terence Davis and Dominik Olejniczak each had 2 points and 5 rebounds. Davis also added a blocked shot in the contest. Marcanvis Hymon and Justas Furmanavicius didn’t find the basket in the game however defensively they made an impact. Hymon had 5 rebounds while Furmanavicius added 2 rebounds and a blocked shot.
When this Rebels team is clicking they are hard to beat. They still have to play with much more consistency as they learn to play with the sense of urgency they showed in the second half on Saturday afternoon. I’m not a coach by any means and dare not question coach Andy Kennedy at all. However, I would like to see a few more trips into the paint from this Rebels team. We saw the damage which was done to the Miss State defense late in the game.
Up Next For Hoops
Ole Miss basketball (9-6, 2-1) will be on the road to take on the Auburn Tigers (14-1, 2-0) down on the plains Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 8pm CT and will be televised on ESPNU. Hotty Toddy!