Ole Miss basketball was coming off a big road win over the Missouri Tigers and had to face the No.19 Tennessee Vols in Oxford.
The rough season had gotten a little better for Ole Miss basketball (12-17, 5-11) with the road win over Missouri. However the Rebels returned home to The Pavilion to host the No.19 Tennessee Vols (21-7, 11-5) Saturday. Interim head coach Tony Madlock and the Rebels needed a win and fell short in a 73-65 contest.
The Rebels struggled badly in the first half against the far more physical Tennessee team. Ole Miss basketball shot for a season low 26 points before the break and trailed 41-26 at the half. In the second half behind a flurry of Ole Miss offense the Rebels pulled within 4 but saw the deficit increase lat in the 2nd. Ole Miss couldn’t catch up and fell to the 19th ranked Vols by the score of 73-65.
Trust me, this game wasn’t close even when Ole Miss drew close in the second half. They never gave off the vibe of a team which wanted to win. For this game to be the worst offensive first half in the season after the past road win is unbearable. For this team to have this much talent and to play this poorly is terrible. Of course, let’s go ahead and look at the game by the numbers and it ain’t pretty.
Ole Miss Rebels Basketball
When we look at the statistics we can see where Ole Miss basketball was outmatched in every major statistical category. The Rebels struggled offensively and it shows. From the field Ole Miss shot 23 of 68 for 33.8% while Tennessee shot 25 of 64 for 39.1%.
One area where the Rebels have been strong most of the season is from the free-throw line. However it wasn’t the case Saturday as the Rebels shot 18 of 26 for 69.1% while the Vols shot 14 of 19 for 73.1% from the charity stripe.
Of course, the glaring deficiency in the stat-line is the terrible 3-point shooting from the Ole Miss Rebels. The Rebels made only 1 of 23 3-point attempts for 4.3%. The No.19 Vols went 9 of 20 for 45.0% from beyond the arc.
Once again, the Rebels poor shot selections and inconsistent shooting haunted them and especially from 3-point range. The Rebels played the Vols very tough in the transition and led in rebounds and turnover margin. However, the inability to make shots when they counted most is what killed the Rebels chances at serious comeback.
Individual Rebels Numbers
Against the Vols there were four Rebels who scored in double-digits. For the second consecutive game sophomore guard Breein Tyree led all Rebels with 17 points. Tyree also had 4 boards, 1 assist and 2 steals. Junior forward Bruce Stevens added 14 points while also getting 7 boards and an assist. Junior guard Terence Davis had 13 points in the game. Davis also had 6 rebounds. Senior guard Deandre Burnett added 11 points with 2 rebounds and a steal.
Senior forward Marcanvis Hymon had 4 points while also getting 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Freshman guard Devontae Shuler, sophomore center Dominik Olejniczak and graduate transfer guard Markel Crawford all finished out the Rebels scoring with 2 points each. Shuler also had 4 rebounds and a blocked shot while Olejniczak had 2 boards. Crawford had 9 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals.
With just three regular season games left the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Rebels. Ole Miss travels to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the Kentucky Wildcats (20-9, 9-7). Of course, the Wildcats have had a disappointing season based on their standards and will be ready to battle Ole Miss for what they believe will be an easy win.
Be watching for the OHT preview of the Ole Miss/Kentucky game coming soon. Tip-off from Lexington is set for this Wednesday at 6pm CT and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Hotty Toddy!