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Moody drops 30 to lead Rebs past Towson

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Stefan Moody began to laugh when asked if 29 was much different than 30. The senior point guard’s wide smile was all the answer necessary.

Moody scored a career-high 30 points to help Ole Miss bounce back from its first loss of the season in a 76-60 victory over Towson at the Charleston Classic on Friday.

“It’s good knowing now, I guess,” he said. “When I was playing, I wasn’t really paying attention. Just playing and see how the numbers fall.”

Everything fell for the Rebels (3-1) in the opening half. They shot 74.1 percent (20 of 27) to lead 48-26 at halftime, then withstood Towson’s modest rally to pull away.

For Moody, the effort showed Ole Miss would not be defined by its defeat, a 68-62 loss to George Mason to start this eight-team tournament.

“You can never really just sit on a loss you had. You’ve got to go back to the film room, see some of the things you did wrong, look past it and take on the next team,” he said.

Towson (1-3) used a 16-2 run at the start of the second half to slice the Rebels’ lead to 50-42 with 14 minutes to play. But behind Moody and Marcanvis Hymon’s career-high 20 points, Ole Miss opened things up again and stayed comfortably out front the rest of the way.

Byron Hawkins had a career-best 28 points to lead the Tigers.

Moody made 10 of his 18 shots overall, including five 3-pointers. He surpassed his previous best of 29 points, which he accomplished twice before including in the Rebels’ season-opening victory over Northwestern State on Nov. 13.

Hymon had nine rebounds to go along with his scoring. He crumpled to the floor late in the game after taking an apparent forearm shot from Towson’s Arnaud William Adala Moto. Hymon got up on his own and did not return with the Rebels up big.

Ole Miss will play for fifth place today — the tournament took Saturday off in deference to college football — while Towson will try and avoid going 0-for-Charleston in the seventh-place game.

Ole Miss was hoping to quickly rebound from its first loss of the season, a 68-62 defeat to George Mason here. And the Rebels did that against Towson with a 16-2 run to take control in the opening minutes.