By Adam Brown
Ole Miss picked up its first conference win of the season on Wednesday night by defeating the Auburn Tigers 72-61.
“You know, give Auburn a lot of credit,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “We got up 18 and they are built for coming back, keep playing and competing… I thought for periods of time that was the best we have played all year.”
Ole Miss (6-3, 1-1 SEC) had three different players score in double figures. Senior Khadim Sy added 13 points while Romello White and Louis Rodriguez both contributed 12 points each.
“I thought that Khadim did a great job,” Davis said. “Seven weeks ago he may have been our best practice player… He has gone through three straight injuries and illnesses in just six weeks, so finally, he has got a little practice… We need him big and he is going to play great minutes for us.”
Auburn (6-4, 0-3 SEC) cut into the Rebels lead after an 8-2 run to cut the score to 60-52. Ole Miss called a timeout and quickly responded with a 7-0 run of their own with a basket by Rodriguez.
“Luis is off to a great start,” Davis said. “I have probably coached Luis harder than anybody on our team. I think he can be an elite defender. He made some timely, great shots.”
Auburn outrebounded the Rebels 37-35 on the night. Ole Miss shot 46% from the floor.
“Our guards got 24 rebounds,” Davis said. “When you play Auburn, that is a critical stat.”
Sophomore Austin Crowley had a huge night on the court with eight points and 10 rebounds against the Tigers. All of Crowley’s points came in the second half.
“That is the best Austin has played since he has been a Rebel,” Davis said.
The Tigers were led on the floor by sophomore Jaylin Williams with 24 points as he went 6-for-10 from beyond the arc. His teammate Jamal Johnson added 11 points of his own.
“We had a happy locker room tonight, and that is what we need before playing a good South Carolina team,” Davis said.
Ole Miss returns to action on Saturday as they welcome South Carolina to Oxford. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. on SEC Network.