By Adam Brown
Ole Miss defeated Kentucky 70-62 inside the Pavilion on Tuesday night marking the first time since 2011.
“Thought it was a real physical game,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “I am proud of our team. Kentucky played really hard.”
Ole Miss (14-10, 9-8 SEC) was led on the floor by senior Devontae Shuler with 17 points. Shuler went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, with a team-high seven assists.
A total of four players scored in double figures for the Rebels as KJ Buffen had 16 points, and Romello White and Sammy Hunter added 11 points each. Buffen and White both had ten rebounds for double-doubles against the Wildcats.
“KJ and Romello were fantastic,” Davis said. “I thought maybe Devontae Shuler’s (was) one of the best floor games he has ever had as an Ole Miss Rebel in the three years that I have gotten to coach him.”
As a team, Ole Miss shot 8-13 for 61.5% from beyond the arc and 84.2% from the free-throw line.
Ole Miss out rebounded 42-28 and 11-10 on the offensive glass.
“I thought rebounding was the key,” Davis said. “Always is when you play Cal’s teams- such a good rebounding coach.”
Kentucky was led on the court by senior Keion Brooks Jr. with 16 points and eight rebounds. The Wildcats had three other players score in double figures. Oliver Sarr scored 15 points, Issah Jackson scored 13 points, and Davion Mintz added 10 points with a team-high of eight assists.
Heading into the second matchup with the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, the Rebels have a chance of getting a bye in the SEC Tournament after the win over Kentucky.
“Start looking at the standings, and we are sixth and still have an outside chance of getting a double-bye,” Davis said. “That hasn’t happened for Ole Miss too much. We are playing for fifth and a lot of good teams behind us.”
Tipoff for senior night against the Commodores is set for 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.