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BLOG: Moody leads Rebels past Auburn in return

Stefan Moody scored a game-high 24 points in his return from a hamstring injury, helping Ole Miss snap its four-game losing streak with an 80-63 win over Auburn on Wednesday at the Pavilion.

Ole Miss outscored the Tigers 51-33 in the second half to turn a competitive game into a comfortable seventh straight win over Auburn.

Moody played 31 minutes after missing the Rebels’ game against Mississippi State on Saturday, though he didn’t have his usual burst. Martavious Newby (eye) also returned after missing the last two games and pulled down nine rebounds while Marcanvis Hymon had 19 points and 10 boards.

Moody had just five points at the half but quickly heated up as Ole Miss (13-7, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) used a 24-7 run early in the second half to take control. Moody knocked down four of his six 3-pointers during the spurt, a couple of them coming near the Ole Miss script logo at midcourt, and took advantage of Auburn’s extended defense during the midst of the run to find Hymon underneath for an old-fashioned three-point play to put the Rebels up 54-41 with 12:42 left.

Ole Miss, which won for the first time since Jan. 9, led by as many as 20 with Auburn (9-10, 3-5) getting no closer than 15 the rest of the way. The Rebels shot 56 percent (19 of 34) from the floor in the second half and locked down on Auburn’s Kareem Canty, who came in leading the Tigers in scoring at 18.6 points per game but finished with just eight.

T.J. Lang led Auburn with 19 points while Tyler Harris added 16.

It was the 14th straight 20-plus point game for Moody, who also dished out five assists. Newby and Hymon helped Ole Miss finish plus-7 (40-33) on the glass and outscore the Tigers 34-16 in the paint.

Bryce Brown knocked down a deep 3 just before time ran out in a choppy first half to give Auburn a 30-29 lead at the break. Ole Miss was 3 of 16 from 3-point range in the opening half while Auburn wasn’t much better, making just five of its first 16 shots from deep, as neither team shot better than 38 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes.

Ole Miss will step out of league play Saturday to travel to Manhattan, Kansas, to take on Kansas State as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.