Junior Deandre Burnett scored a game-high 23 points and senior Sebastian Saiz posted his 20th double-double of the season with 14 and 16 rebounds as Ole Miss rolled Missouri 86-74 to advance in the SEC Tournament Thursday.
The Rebels (20-12), the six seed, won their fourth in five games trying to improve their postseason resume. They simply wore down Missouri a night after the Tigers upset Auburn to give one last victory to coach Kim Anderson, whose firing was announced last weekend.
Ole Miss traipsed to the free throw line early and often as three Tigers fouled out, finishing with more free throws (31 of 47) than Missouri made field goals (26 of 61). Sebastian Saiz, who had his SEC-best 20th double-double by halftime, finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Terence Davis added 19.
The Rebels will play No. 3 seed Arkansas on Friday night in the quarterfinals.
Missouri (8-24) finishes the season losing seven of eight.
Jordan Barnett, Terrence Phillips and Kevin Puryear each had 15 points for Missouri, and Cullen Vanleer had 10.
The Tigers used the 3-pointer to stay close early after hitting a season-high 16 3s against Auburn. The Tigers hit six of their first 12 but couldn’t keep pace.
Early, Burnett knocked down all four of his 3s as the Rebels shot 7 of 13 outside the arc in the first half. That, and free throws kept the Rebels ahead before they got going in transition. The Rebels also took advantage of their depth with a 23-9 edge in bench scoring to lead by as much as 14 before taking a 46-36 lead into halftime.
Frankie Hughes, whose 3 forced overtime in the Tigers’ tournament opener, pulled Missouri within 50-41 with a 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the second half. That was as close as the Tigers would get.
Breein Tyree, who finished with 11, pushed the Rebels’ lead to 58-43 with 16:11 to go with a layup and back-to-back 3s. Ole Miss led by as much as 17 down the stretch.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports