Ole Miss has defeated the Missouri Tigers 85-76 for home win at the Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi.
The Rebels came into the game against a struggling Missouri opponent that was 0-9 on the road and last place in the SEC at 3-11. The confidence gained from the 10-point Auburn win last Saturday was transferred to the hardwood Tuesday night.
Stefan Moody’s play once again prompted the Rebels’ performance on the court. The senior point guard scored 29 points along with eight assists, eight rebounds, and three steals. Sebastian Saiz had his own double-double as well, scoring 15 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Despite Ole Miss jumping out to an 18-9 lead approaching the middle of the first half, the Tigers kept the ball game close and entered halftime only down 43-42. Missouri’s sophomore guards Namon Wright contributed 20 points and Tramaine Isabell scored 17 points.
But Moody was the X-factor, making Missouri hang in the game rather than forcing Ole Miss match their intensity. Moody obviously led with scoring but more importantly, he motivated the entire team to perform better with the hustle he displayed.
When it was tied 54-54 with 12:58 in the second half, the Tigers were still keeping up with the Rebels. Then Ole Miss finally broke free and went on a 12-0 run, a run that seemed to break the Missouri morale.
A Look Ahead
Ole Miss is now 18-10 overall and sits as sixth in the SEC conference at 8-7. Their next game is this Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia. The game starts at 11 a.m. CT and the SEC Network will broadcast it. The Rebels defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season by a one-point margin of 72-71.
With the end of February looming, the NCAA March Madness Tournament becomes the central topic in the college basketball conversation. After four straight SEC losses in the end of January, the Rebels appeared to Ole Miss fans as a long shot to enter the tournament. The odds are still are not in the Rebels’ favor, but hope shouldn’t be given up quite yet. Ole Miss still made the cut for March Madness last year with a 20-11 regular season record and 11-7 record in the SEC. The Rebels find themselves in a similar situation as last year.
If the season ends strong with wins against the three remaining SEC games, the Ole Miss Rebels could very well claim a spot in the March Madness Tournament.
Jack Olstad is a journalism student at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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