Wild finish, as Ole Miss Rebel basketball remains undefeated
Published 6:03 pm Saturday, December 2, 2023
Scoring seven points in the final two minutes of action, Jaylyn Murray sunk a three to put Ole Miss up 75-72 and helped hold off the comeback attempt from Memphis, as the Rebels went on to win 80-77 on Saturday in the SJB Pavilion.
For the first time this season, Ole Miss had two players score 20 points or more, led by Murray with 22 while adding a career-best nine assists compared to just one turnover. Sinking six threes in a game for the third time in his career,Matthew Murrell tallied 20, with Allen Flanigan scoring 18.
A sellout crowd at the SJB Pavilion helped get Ole Miss (7-0) off to a 7-0 start to the game, before Memphis (5-2) responded with a run of their own to go up 10-7. The Rebels were quickly down 10 with 12:55 on the clock, however, they fought back within one on a three from Murrell at the 8:31 mark.
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A defensive remainder of the first half kept the game close, before the Tigers took a seven-point lead in the final moments to own a 37-30 advantage at the break.
After scoring a season-low 30 in the first half, Ole Miss posted their most points in a second half since November of 2021, scoring 50.
An 11-point lead by Memphis with 18:49 on the clock would be the largest lead for either team in the game, before a 10-2 run by the Rebels cut the deficit to three. A transition layup from Murrell with 14:05 on the board tied the game at 51, while a pair of free throws gave the home team their first lead since early in the contest moments later.
The two sides traded blows, as no team led by more than four in the final eight minutes of action. Jaemyn Brakefield battled through contact down low to hit a layup and put Ole Miss within two points, down 67-65 with 6:04 left to play.
Following the final media timeout of the day, a pair of makes from the charity stripe by the Tigers were quickly responded to by Flanigan, setting the score at 71-70 in favor of the visitors. A defensive board from Murrell put Flanigan back on the fastbreak, where he put the Rebels up 72-71 to send the arena into a frenzy with 2:45 on the clock.
A score by Memphis was met with a three by Murray on the ensuing possession, before the Tigers drew even at 75. Murray would sink yet another shot that was quickly replied to by Memphis to make it 77-all with 42 seconds on the scoreboard.
Coming out of a 60-second timeout by the Rebels, Murray dropped in a driving shot to give Ole Miss the lead, giving them their fifth win over Memphis over the last seven matchups.
Ole Miss set a season high with 10 blocks, including seven in the first half, the most for the program in a first half since January 2014. Their 10 swats were the most in a game since Dec. 19, 2017. The team entered this game ranked No. 12 in the country in blocks per game, averaging 6.2 per outing.
The Rebels begin their season undefeated through seven games for the first time since 2007-08, when they won the first 13.
Murrell’s iconic performance from beyond the arc also entered him into the record books, as his 457 career attempts from three now ranks 10th in program history.
Memphis was led in scoring by David Jones with 22, 16 of which came in the first half. Nick Jourdain led the team with seven rebounds, adding 10 points.
The Rebels will take the remainder of the weekend off before returning to action on Tuesday, December 5, when they host Mount St. Mary’s at 7 p.m. on SECN+.