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Rebels Head to the Lone Star State for a Big 12-SEC Challenge

Deandre Burnett scored a season-high 24 points in the 78-66 win over Alabama. Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

The Ole Miss Rebels will step out of conference to take on the Texas Longhorns in Austin this weekend. Tip-off for this Big 12-SEC Challenge is set for 1 p.m. on ESPN2.

Ole Miss (11-9, 4-4 SEC) comes into the match after a 78-66 victory over Alabama Tuesday, where senior Deandre Burnett scored a season-high 24 points.
Coach Andy Kennedy’s guards have accounted for 71.1 percent of the Rebels’ scoring; the guards scored 63 of the team’s 78 points in the win over Alabama.
The Rebels lead the SEC and rank 23rd nationally in assists/turnover ratio (1.4). From beyond the arc, Ole Miss is 10-2 on the season and shooting over 30 percent.
Texas enters with a 13-7 record, including a 4-4 mark in Big 12 play. The Longhorns have alternated wins and losses in their last nine games, including a 73-57 win over Iowa State in their latest contest Monday night.
Texas has faced one SEC team this season, Alabama. The Longhorns went into Tuscaloosa and emerged with a 66-50 victory on Dec. 22. Allowing only 66.0 points per game, Texas relies on its defense and leads the Big 12 in blocks per game (5.9), ranking 13th nationally.
Opponents are only shooting 39.9 percent versus the Longhorns, a mark that is the 25th-best field goal percentage defense in the country. Leading the block party is freshman Mohamed Bamba, who ranks second in the nation with 84 blocks this season. Bamba is a double-double machine averaging 12.4 ppg and 10.7 rebounds per game (12th nationally). Junior forward Dylan Osetkowski is the team’s leading scorer at 14.4 ppg.
Shaka Smart is in his third season as Texas head coach after spending six seasons building VCU into a mid-major powerhouse.
Saturday’s game will be the 15th meeting between Ole Miss and Texas, although the schools have not faced each other since 1975. The Longhorns hold an 8-6 advantage overall, including 4-2 in Austin and 3-0 in neutral site battles, while the Rebels are 4-1 in Oxford. The series began in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. Beginning with the 1964-65 campaign, Ole Miss and Texas played once each year for 12 straight seasons. During that annual matchup, the series was even at 6-6. In the 1970s series, the Rebels won five straight before the Longhorns broke the streak which ended up being the last matchup (Dec. 6, 1975).

Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.
For more questions or comments email us at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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