Win-less on the road in 2018, Ole Miss basketball needed a win in Knoxville Saturday to have a shot at a respectable season. Sadly they didn’t find it.
Talking about the 2018 Ole Miss basketball team’s road struggles have become like beating a dead bear. Trust me, there are those of us who hate writing about it as much as you hate reading it. Of course, this season it has become the norm. The Rebels are now 0-7 in true road games with the loss to No.18 ranked Tennessee.
The Ole Miss Rebels (11-12, 4-6) were on a 2-game losing streak and desperately needed a win coming into Knoxville. However, No.18 ranked Tennessee (17-5, 7-3) was on a 5-game win streak and proved to be way too much for the Rebels. The Vols blew out the Rebels in a very ugly 94-61 beat-down.
A sluggish start by the Rebels allowed the Vols to get ahead early in the first half of play. At one point Ole Miss was down by 14 and managed to scrape back into the game late. However, a late Tennessee run allowed the Vols to take a 35-25 lead into the break. The stingy Vols defense forced the Rebels worst first half performance of the season.
Of course, the second half was much uglier than the first. Once again Ole Miss shot poorly from the field and had excessive turnovers which led to Tennessee dominating the second half. The Vols outscored the Rebels 59-36 after the break in route to a 94-61 rout. Of course, like every other game we review the stats.
Team Numbers Comparisons
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
You can’t really expect the numbers for Ole Miss to look very good in a 33 point loss. Trust me they are pretty ugly. Of course, this was by far the worst shooting performance for the Rebels this season. In the game Ole Miss shot only 21- 60 or 35.0% from the field while Tennessee made 52.3% of there shots hitting 33 of 62 attempts.
The Rebels didn’t make many trips to the charity stripe. Ole Miss shot 8 of 11 from the free throw line for 72.7% while Tennessee was 15 of 19 for 78.9% from the stripe. Of course, the Rebels struggled against the faster and more aggressive Vols. Excessive fouls sent Tennessee to the line way too much.
The Rebels did see some success from 3-point distance going 11 of 25 from beyond the arc for 44.0%. The Vols also shot well from distance hitting 13 of 29 shots making 44.8% of their attempts. Of course, despite shooting well from the arc the Rebels struggled from the field and lost the turnover battle with 17. The Vols only turned the ball over 6 times. Tennessee’s strong bench accounted for 35 points in the game compared to 27 bench points for the Rebels.
Rebels Individual Numbers
Only scoring 61 points you can’t really expect big numbers from anybody. However, Ole Miss basketball did have two players score in double-digits. Bruce Stevens led all Rebels with 16 points while Terence Davis added 13 points. Stevens also had 6 rebounds and 1 assist. Davis grabbed 9 boards while getting 1 assist and a blocked shot. Deandre Burnett had a rough night with only 7 points however he was the Rebels 3rd leading scorer. Burnett also had 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
Justas Furmanavicius and Breein Tyree each had 6 points in the game. Furmanavicius also had 4 rebounds and 1 assist while Tyree had 3 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal. Markel Crawford finished the night with 5 points while getting 1 rebound, 1 assist and a steal. Devontae Shuler and DC Davis each had 3 points. Shuler also had 3 rebounds and 1 assist. Dominik Olejniczak finished his night with only 2 points and 1 rebound. Marcanvis Hymon was held scoreless but did have 5 boards.
It’s difficult to watch a team with this much talent play as poorly as they did Saturday night. Of course, there will be games where nothing seems to work. Against Tennessee we saw the worst of what we’ve been seeing all season. Inconsistency at both ends of the court, unnecessary fouls and poor shooting decisions have cost this team dearly. At this point in the season you have to play better than Ole Miss has to compete against the SEC. Hopefully coach Andy Kennedy and the Rebels can bounce back and enter the SEC tourney on a decent roll.
The Rebels return home to The Pavilion Tuesday night to host the Missouri Tigers (15-8, 5-5). The Tigers have a very talented team who play very good on the road. Of course, Missouri is coming into Oxford off a huge 69-60 home win over No.21 ranked Kentucky. Missouri enters the match-up on a 2 game win streak while Ole Miss has lost 3 in a row. OHT will have more info on Missouri in our preview coming later.
The Rebels are in a must win mode from this point forward. While many Ole Miss basketball fans have given up on a 20-win season some of us are simply hoping for a winning season at this point. With 4 out of 8 games left on the road the Rebels need to make every win count if they don’t want to finish below .500. Tip off from The Pavilion Tuesday night is set for 8pm CT and the game will be televised on SEC Network. Hotty Toddy!