Rebels fall to Cincinnati in Emerald Coast Classic championship game

Published 8:27 pm Saturday, November 24, 2018

Less than 24-hours after knocking off Baylor 78-70 to advance to the Emerald Coast Classic championship game, Ole Miss struggled to create offense and was defeated by Cincinnati 71-57.

Cincinnati dominated the Rebels early on the glass corralling four offensive rebounds in the first four minutes of play. The Bearcat defense held Ole Miss to start, leading the team on a 12-2 run early in the game. Ole Miss hung around, and after a three-pointer at the buzzer, went to half trailing just 37-33.

In back to back nights, it was a Rebel not named Terence Davis carrying the load offensively. Friday night, Breein Tyree went off for a career high 28 points. Tonight, it was sophomore guard Devontae Shuler.

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Shuler singlehandedly kept Ole Miss in the ballgame through the first half. When the rest of the team couldn’t get going offensively, Shuler scored 18 of Ole Miss’ 33 points. Shuler was 6-8 in the first half, hitting all four of his free throws. He would finish with 24 points and 6 rebounds.

Just 24-hours removed from his career day, Breein Tyree struggled. He shot only 4-11 from the floor and 0-5 from three. For the third straight game, Terence Davis was a non-factor offensively. After leading the team in scoring for the first three games, tonight he was held scoreless. Tyree and Shuler would both make the all-tournament team.

Early in the second half, Ole Miss would tie the game at 41, the first time the game was tied since it was 7-7 early. The Bearcats would subsequently go on a 8-0 run, never looking back. The Rebels wouldn’t score in the last five minutes, losing 71-57.

Cincinnati junior guard Jarron Cumberland was able to get anything he wanted offensively against Ole Miss. Matching Shuler, Cumberland also scored 18 in the first half, including 10-10 from the free throw line. He would finish with 25 points.

Next up, Ole Miss will return home and play San Diego (4-1) on Wednesday. The Rebels need to use these next six games, before SEC play begins, to find offensive consistency. Having one player go for a career high when others around him struggle is simply not an effective way to win basketball games.