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Rebels Increase Winning Streak on Tyree’s Big Night

**Ole Miss press release via Will Redmond

NASHVILLE – Breein Tyree scored a career-high 31 points, and the Ole Mis men’s basketball team took its winning streak into SEC play with an 81-71 win over Vanderbilt in the conference opener Saturday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The Rebels (11-2, 1-0 SEC) won their eighth straight game, marking their longest winning streak in six seasons.

Four Rebels scored in double figures led by Tyree. Terence Davis, who scored all of his points in the second half, shot 50% from the field with a pair of three-pointers. Devontae Schuler had 11 of his own, going 7-8 from the charity stripe with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Blake Hinson scored in double figures (11) for the fourth time this season.

The Rebels cashed in at the free throw line, going 19-22 (86.4%) for the game, including 14-15 (93.3%) in the second half which allowed Ole Miss to keep the lead down the stretch.

The Commodores were led by Simisola Shittu, who had 21 points and 9 rebounds.

Vanderbilt held the early advantage before Ole Miss too its first lead of the game with 13:22 left in the opening half. Tyree scored seven of the team’s first 13 points, and his tough drive to the hole put the Rebels ahead by one. A Dominik Olejniczak hook off the glass doubled the lead as Ole Miss held the home team without a bucket for nearly five minutes.

Tyree continued his control of the game. After acknowledging his fault on a turnover that upset head coach Kermit Davis, the junior guard made up for it by drilling a jumper followed by a long three-pointer. The NBA-range triple gave Ole Miss the lead back, forcing Vanderbilt to call timeout with the Rebels ahead 20-18. Following five straight points by the Commodores, Tyree hit his third three of the game before Devontae Shuler found Bruce Stevens on an alley-oop to break the 23-23 tie.

Trailing by two, Ole Miss went on a 7-0 run late in the first half. Blake Hinson scored seven of the team’s final nine points of the period. Behind 17 points from Tyree that included makes on his first six shots, the Rebels went into the locker room with a 35-32 lead. Both teams went 13 of 31 (41.9 percent) from the field in the opening half. While Ole Miss hit four three-pointers, including a trio by Tyree, Vanderbilt found its success in the paint (24 points).

Missing the final 10 minutes of the first half due to foul trouble, Terence Davis drove to the lane for his first bucket of the game and the Rebels’ first points of the second half. After making just one three-pointer in the first half, Vanderbilt drained three within the first four minutes of the second half to grab the lead. All three were courtesy of Matt Ryan, helping the Commodores flip their three-point deficit into a four-point advantage.

Ole Miss re-gained the lead on the back on Tyree. Following a pair of made free throws, he found Stevens down low for a powerful two-handed slam. Then, his tough drive to the hoop put the Rebels in front 56-55 with 11:11 remaining in the contest. However, Vanderbilt responded with back-to-back buckets by Clevon Brown. Ole Miss countered with Tyree and Terence Davis to get the lead back.

A free throw by the Commodores knotted the game at 60-60 with 8:18 to go, but the standstill didn’t last long. Terence Davis sank a three from the wing, and his steal on the other end led to a nifty fastbreak lay-up by Shuler, making it 65-60 Rebels and causing another Vanderbilt timeout.

The Ole Miss lead grew to nine, 72-63, with 3:53 left. Vanderbilt cut the margin to five, but the Rebels converted their free throws down the stretch to earn a double-digit victory to open up SEC play.

After beginning SEC play on the road, the Rebels host No. 12 Auburn for their first conference home game (Jan. 9). The Wednesday night contest is set for 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2 and can be heard on the airwaves of the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.

For the latest news and updates regarding Ole Miss Men’s Basketball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men’s Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.

TIP-INS

  • Ole Miss won its eighth straight game, marking the longest winning streak since the 2012-13 season that resulted in an SEC Tournament title (9 consecutive wins)
  • Breein Tyree scored a career-high 31 points, the most points by a Rebel and the most points by a Vanderbilt opponent this season.
  • Tyree recorded his seventh 20-point game in the last 10 contests, as well as the first 3-point game of his career.
  • Tyree made a career-high 11 field goals, hitting his first six shots of the game and recording 17 first half points.
  • The Rebels beat Vanderbilt in Memorial Gymnasium for the fourth straight time, three of those being double-digit victories.
  • Ole Miss has won seven of the last nine meetings in the series.
  • Kermit Davis became the third coach in school history to win 11 of his first 13 games as Ole Miss head coach, joining Homer Hazel (1926-30) and Andy Kennedy (2007-18)