Brakefield, Burns lead men’s basketball to 78-74 victory at Georgia

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

ATHENS, Ga. — With 15 lead changes and 13 ties, another close game for the Rebels came up as a win as the Ole Miss men’s basketball team defeated Georgia 78-74 on Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

“We talked about winning February, and this is maybe the seventh SEC game like this, where you could sit back and have four or five more wins, but we don’t,” Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis said. “We’re 1-1 in February and we get to go back home for South Carolina on Saturday, so we’re just trying to win some back-to-back games to get some momentum. It’s just a happy locker room after getting a much-needed win on the road.”

The Rebels (10-14, 2-9 SEC) trailed at the first media timeout 10-8, before Jaemyn Brakefield sunk one of his two three pointers on the night to put Ole Miss on top by two moments later. The junior forward posted a career-high for first half points, as Brakefield scored 14 in the first 20 minutes of action with a pair of makes from deep.

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The Bulldogs (14-10, 4-7 SEC) made a run to open the second half, going up by five, 42-37 early in the period. It wasn’t until 5:32 was left to play that Ole Miss retook the lead, as a free throw from Myles Burns made it a 61-60 game. After Georgia inched in front on a pair of free throws, Brakefield retaliated with a jumper, with a pair of conversions from the charity stripe by Burns and strong drive and layup through contact from Matthew Murrell giving the Rebels a four point lead.

With a minute left to play, the Bulldogs got within one point of Ole Miss, but free throws by Murrell late put the game away, as the Rebels won by four.

Brakefield was the leading scorer for the Rebels, as he finished with a career-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists. In two games at Stegeman Coliseum, Brakefield is averaging 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and three assists, after setting his previous career-high in points with 19 last season.

Setting a season-best for points in a game, Burns added 20 points to go with his six rebounds, two steals, and a block. This marked the first time Ole Miss had two 20-point scorers in a game this season, with the last coming on January 24 against Florida last year in a 70-54 win at home.

Murrell added 14 points as well after starting his first game since his injury at Arkansas. Georgia was led by Braelen Bridges with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

“Jaemyn and Myles were terrific, and Matt Murrell down the stretch at the line as well,” Davis said. “Overall, I was just really pleased. At the end we got up three and we were going to foul, and I thought we executed that well and then Matt made a big rebound on the free throw.”

Ole Miss returns home next to host South Carolina on Saturday, February 11 at noon on the SEC Network.