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Rebels defeat Fayetteville State, 101-52

The Kermit Davis era officially began on Friday as the Rebels routed Fayetteville State 101-52 at The Pavillion in an exhibition game.

Ole Miss shot 58.6 percent from the field during the game and held the Broncos to 26.7 percent on the floor.

Terrence Davis led the Rebels’ offensive charge with 20 points on the night and ended on rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards.

Bruce Stevens did earn a double-double with his 16 points and 10 rebounds, with fellow post player Dominik Olejniczak finishing the game with 15 points and six rebounds.

“We delivered (Stevens and Olejniczak) the ball in good places where they can score. Those guys played like that in our scrimmage,,” Davis said. “I’m proud of both of them. We’ll maybe get it to where they both play on the floor at the same time. Our deal is that, and they’re both skilled enough,… in the next couple weeks, both of those guys will start to get on the floor at the same time.”

Devontae Shuler also reached the double-digit mark with 11 points on the night.

However, two newcomers to the Rebels’ roster also made an impact in the game.

Both Blake Hinson and KJ Buffen drew starts on Friday, with Hinson earning seven points and eight rebounds while Buffen had six points – all from three-point range  and led the team with nine assists.

Hinson and Buffen each logged just over 20 minutes during the game,

“(Buffen)’s got great basketball instincts and IQ for a guy that’s 18,” Davis said. “He’ll play the whole year at 18 years old. He really should be a 2019 (high school graduate). He’s really got a huge ceiling.”

As the final score suggested, Ole Miss began the game hot behind a 3-pointer from Buffen and back-to-back baskets from Olejniczak that were followed by a 3-pointer from Davis to give the Rebels a 10-0 lead.

Ole Miss followed that up with an 11-0 run after a pair of free-throws from Fayetteville State.

The Rebels took a 51-26 lead into the halftime break and returned to the floor to outscore the Broncos 50-26 in the second half.

However, despite the offensive performance from the team, Davis said that the Rebels still have a ways to go defensively, even though there were some good things happening on that side of the ball during the game.

“To start the game, I thought it was good, but then we got in a period of time where they just missed,” Davis said. “For the most part, I thought we tried to make them make tough twos and that was all we were trying to do. For a game like that, where the score gets the way it just held technique together, and a long way to go there. But I thought there were a lot of positives defensively.”

Friday’s exhibition game serves as a warmup for the regular season, which officially begins on Nov. 10 when Ole Miss hosts Western Michigan.

The game is set to tip off at 3 p.m. CT and will be aired on SEC Network +.