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Rebels Host LSU For Valentine's Day Showdown

Photo by Paul Keelaghan

The Ole Miss Rebels basketball squad returns to the hardwood this evening as they host the LSU Tigers in a SEC Valentine’s Day showdown. 

Ole Miss (15-10, 6-6 SEC) comes into the matchup after defeating the Auburn Tigers 90-84 in a 23-point comeback victory, the Rebels’ 10th  straight win over Auburn. Sophomore Terence Davis scored a career-high 26 points, all in the second half, after playing just four minutes of the first half.
Junior teammates Cullen Neal and Deandre Burnett added 20 and 18 points to the Rebels total, respectively. Neal’s biggest basket of the game came with just over five minutes remaining, as he hit a 3 to give the Rebels a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Burnett’s contribution mainly came from the free throw line after he hit 10 free throws in the closing minutes of the Rebels’ improbable comeback. 
Tonight, a different Tiger opponent comes to the Pavilion, but the objective remains the same for Andy Kennedy and the Rebels. Ole Miss simply can’t afford any more losses as the season winds down if they have postseason dreams. The Rebels must demonstrate the same fortitude they showed in the second half against Auburn from the opening tip against LSU later tonight.
After losing Ben Simmons to the NBA draft, the Tigers haven’t been able to fill his shoes, and they’re performance proves it. LSU is 9-15 overall and 1-11 in the SEC after a 78-70 home loss to Arkansas Saturday. The Tigers have lost 11 games in a row, including 10 straight conference games. The Tigers last win came on Jan. 4, a win over the almost equally inept Missouri Tigers.  
Sophomore G Antonio Blakeney leads the Tigers in scoring at 16.5 ppg and has knocked down a team-best 39 3-pointers. Junior F Duop Reath is pulling down a team-high 6.5 rebounds a game and ranks second on the squad in scoring at 13.3 ppg. LSU ranks last in the league in scoring defense allowing opponents to score 81.5 ppg and 14th in the conference in turnovers committing 14.7 per game.
LSU has won three straight matchups in this series, the Tigers winning 90-81 over Ole Miss last season. Although the past three games have not been in the Rebels’ favor; Ole Miss holds a 54-34 game lead in the series for games played in Oxford.
Fans that cannot make it out to the Pavilion for this game can watch all the action on SEC Network or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network. What better way to spend Valentine’s day in Oxford? Grab your significant other, friends and family and come out to the Pavilion for some Ole Miss Basketball. 
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.

Adam Brown HottyToddy.com sports editor. He can be reached adam.brown@hottytoddy.com
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com
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