Junior Sebastian Saiz posted his eighth double-double of the year with 23 points and 11 rebounds as Ole Miss rolled Tennessee 83-60 in Knoxville Saturday to secure its eighth 20-win season under head coach Andy Kennedy.
Ole Miss (20-11, 10-8 SEC) had just seven 20-win campaigns in 96 seasons before Kennedy’s arrival.
Three days after getting a career-high 43 points in a victory over Mississippi State, SEC scoring leader Stefan Moody went scoreless in the first half and battled foul trouble before finishing with 12 points.
Ole Miss still easily sent Tennessee (13-18, 6-12) to its sixth loss in its last seven games.
“We were proud of what we did today,” said Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy. “We certainly did not follow the script, (Stefan) Moody coming out, getting in early foul trouble and throwing it all over the building. We stumbled and bumbled, but really proud of those guys – Donte Fitzpatrick(-Dorsey), Terence Davis – for giving us some stability during that first half.”
Tomasz Gielo scored 16 points and Martavious Newby had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Ole Miss, which shot 11 of 25 from 3-point range.
Devon Baulkman scored 18, Armani Moore had 13 and Admiral Schofield added 12 for Tennessee.
Kennedy joined Billy Donovan, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith as the only SEC coaches to have at least eight 20-win seasons in their first 10 years in the league.
Moody picked up his second foul with 13:13 left in the first half, and he wouldn’t return to the game until the start of the second half. But the Vols couldn’t capitalize on Moody’s absence.
Ole Miss trailed 11-9 when Moody went to the bench with his second foul but outscored Tennessee 22-11 for the remainder of the first half. After Moore scored to give Tennessee its 11-9 lead with 14:56 left in the first half, the Vols wouldn’t make another basket for a stretch of 14 minutes, 4 seconds.
“I really like where we are,” said Kennedy. “I like the fact that [Saiz] came out and had a monster game, played like he was playing prior to the injury. I like the fact that if we’re to the state where Stefan Moody can play 21 minutes and have 12 points – which is maybe a season-low for him – and us still find a way to win by double digits against a quality team.”
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports