Ole Miss defeats Mississippi State to give Andy Kennedy his 100th SEC win

Published 6:43 pm Saturday, January 6, 2018

Deandre Burnett scored 21 points, Breein Tyree had 16 and Ole Miss rallied from as many as 13 down to defeat in-state rival Mississippi State 64-58 at the Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

It also gave head coach Andy Kennedy his 100th win of the season

“Longevity. I’ve been here awhile,” Kennedy said when asked what reaching that milestone meant to him. “I’ve been in a lot of games. I say that I think I’ve kind of seen it all but this team is showing me some new stuff. Every team has an identity in and of itself and we’re figuring out who we are as a group.”

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The Rebels (9-6, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) overcame a poor shooting performance, going 21-of-62 (34 percent) from the floor. They shot 7-of-28 from three-point range.

“Early in the first half I didn’t think we were taking particularly good shots,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “Mississippi State is good defensively. They’re long. They really pack-line you. ..we were taking what they were giving us, which I thought were good looks for an SEC basketball game, and we just can’t make them.”

Trailing by 11 points midway through the second half, the Rebels outscored Mississippi State (13-2, 1-1) 25-8 in the final 10 minutes of the game.

The biggest play, or plays, of the game came from Tyree. With 53 seconds left Tyree hit a layup to put the Rebels up four. The Bulldogs responded with a layup of their own from Abdul Ado but Tyree went through two defenders on the following possession for another layup, essentially icing the game.

“It’s always good to see shots go in,” Tyree said. “I was just trying to make the plays. …I just wanted to stay in attack mode.”

Mississippi State failed to have a single player in double figures. Aric Holman and Nick Weatherspoon each had nine points. Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Xavian Stapleton each had seven points.

The Bulldogs shot 39 percent (13-of-33) in the first half but went nine-of-30 in the second half and 0-13 from three-point range.

“We just didn’t handle the nine-point lead in the last eight or so minutes of the game,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. “We took quick shots and it led right away to (Ole Miss) scoring. …we’ve just got to play smarter down the stretch with the ball.”

After having their three-game winning streak snapped by Georgia on Wednesday, the Rebels will try and start a new one when they travel to play Auburn on Tuesday before coming home to host Florida next Saturday.

Davis’ struggles continue

It has not been a stellar start to SEC play for Terence Davis. The junior guard shot 1-of-13 from the field against Mississippi State and is currently four-of-28 (14 percent) in conference play.

Heading into Saturday Davis was still the Rebels’ leading scorer with 14.4 points a game.

“We’re with (Davis), we love him,” Tyree said. “Keep shooting and you know you’re going to get out of this slump.”