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BLOG: Ole Miss turns away Memphis late for road win

MEMPHIS — Ole Miss’ men’s basketball team started fast before holding off a late surge from Memphis to notch its sixth straight win with a 85-79 victory Friday at the FedEx Forum.

Stefan Moody led Ole Miss (9-2) with 21 points, but his supporting cast picked up the senior point guard down the stretch after a hot start. Moody had 16 points to help the Rebels build a lead as big as 18 in the first half but had just five points on 1 of 8 shooting in the final 20 minutes.

Martavious Newby, a Memphis native, had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds while Sebastian Saiz collected 11 points and 11 rebounds before leaving late in the second half after taking a hit to his eye. Rasheed Brooks also had 11 points while Tomasz Gielo chipped in 10 for the Rebels, who now have more than half of their wins outside of Oxford.

Memphis (7-3) made a surge late as the Tigers sometimes sent two defenders at Moody to keep the ball out of his hands. Ole Miss led by as many as 16 in the second half, but Ricky Tarrant’s 3-pointer with 1:57 left cut it to five at 76-71 in a game that started later than expected and got chippy down the stretch.

But Newby knocked down a pair of free throws and made seven of his eight in the final 1:52 to help the Rebels keep their distance in the first meeting between the teams since 2010. Ole Miss connected on six of its last eight free throws after missing 13 of its first 30 attempts.

Tarrant led all scorers with 29 points while freshman forward Dedric Lawson collected 21 points and 14 boards for Memphis, which shot just 34.9 percent from the field for the game and 25.9 percent in the first half.

The game was delayed more than an hour because of a city-wide power outage in downtown Memphis at approximately 6:15 p.m. The emotion between the area rivals was evident once it started and intensified when the Tigers tried to make a comeback in the second half with players for each team and Memphis coach Josh Pastner all getting called for technical fouls and a fan getting removed from the arena for directing obscenities at Moody.