Men’s basketball continues to roll, defeats Southern Miss to move to 12-0

Published 4:21 pm Monday, December 25, 2023

Shooting a season-best 57.9 percent from three-point range, the No. 25 Ole Miss men’s basketball team scored a season-high 89 points to defeat Southern Miss 89-72 on Saturday in the Mississippi Sports Coliseum.

This was already the fifth game of the year that the Rebels shot 50 percent or better from deep, the most in an entire season since doing so five times in 2014-15. They entered today’s game ranked 15th in the country with a shooting percentage of 39.2 from beyond the arc.

Ole Miss (12-0) took a quick lead 11 seconds in, never surrendering it the rest of the afternoon, leading by double-digits when Jaylen Murray connected on a three to make it 18-6 with 13:47 on the clock. With five minutes before halftime, Southern Miss (6-6) sunk a pair of free throws to cut their deficit to nine, before the Rebels responded with a 10-0 run that was capitalized by a three from Matthew Murrell. Ole Miss took a 17-point advantage into the midway break.

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The Golden Eagles chipped away in the second half, as a pair of free throws got them within 10 of the Rebels with just under eight minutes to play. Over the next five minutes of action, Ole Miss took a more comfortable lead paced by Murrell and Jaemyn Brakefield to go out in front by 20 with 2:25 to play.

For the fifth time this season and third consecutive game, the Rebels made at least 10 shots from three-point range, going 11-19. Jaylen Murray tied his career-high with five makes from deep, while Murrell hit four. Murrell finished with a season-high and game-best 26 points, as Jaylen Murray added 21.

Allen Flanigan led the team in rebounds for the 10th time this season, stuffing the box score with 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three steals. This was the third double-double of the year for Flanigan, and the fifth of his career. Brakefield scored 15 while securing seven boards and adding three assists.

The Rebels maintained possession today, only turning the ball over seven times compared to 17 team assists. They entered with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.48, the 43rd-best mark in college basketball.

Their 12-0 start is tied for the second-best in school history, and the second longest win streak in program history. The only other time the Rebels made it this deep without a loss was in 2007-08 when they began the year 13-0.

Southern Miss was led by Cobie Montgomery with 15 points off the bench, while Victor Iwuakor, Victor Hart, and Andre Curbelo each scored 13.

The Rebels will play one final game in the 2023 calendar year, and their final non-conference game of the season, when they host Bryant on Sunday, December 31 for a 3 p.m. game in the SJB Pavilion on the SEC Network.