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Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Welcomes Arkansas to the SJB Pavilion

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The Ole Miss men’s basketball team returns to action on Wednesday night as they play host to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. on SEC Network.

Ole Miss (10-9, 2-5 SEC) is coming off a 70-54 win over the Florida Gators on Monday night. The Rebels snapped a four-game conference losing streak. Daeshun Ruffin lead the team with career-high 21 points with Matthew Murrell right behind him with 20 points.

The Rebels have been without senior stalwart Jarkel Joiner since Dec. 21 vs. Samford, and in the seven succeeding games several Rebels have stepped up to fill in for his sorely-missed presence and production. In that seven-game stretch, Murrell is leading with 16.0 points per game in addition to a 53.5 percent clip from the field, a 51.3 percent effort from beyond the arc, 2.9 threes, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game. 

Arkansas (14-5, 4-3 SEC) is currently on a four-game winning streak after dropping its first three games of conference play. The Razorbacks ranked as high as No. 10 in the AP poll and No. 9 in the Coaches poll as recently as Dec. 4 after starting off the season on a nine-game winning streak. A two-game skid to Oklahoma (88-66) and Hofstra (89-81) knocked them out of both polls, as Arkansas lost five of six from Dec. 11 to Jan. 8. Since, the Razorbacks have turned it back on, clipping off four straight wins vs. Missouri (87-43), No. 12 LSU (65-58), South Carolina (75-59) and Texas A&M (76-73/OT). Arkansas currently ranks No. 55 in the NET ratings, owning a 4-3 combined record against Quad 1 (1-3) and Quad 2 (3-0), and a 10-2 mark against Quad 3 (2-2) and Quad 4 (8-0).

Arkansas enters Wednesday as the best free throw shooting team in the SEC and the most prolific in the nation this season, owning a 74.3 percent clip in addition to the NCAA’s most free throws made (332) and second-most attempted (447) this season. JD Notae leads Arkansas with his SEC-leading 18.6 points per game, with Au’Diese Toney (10.0), Stanley Umude (10.4) and Chris Lykes (10.1) also joining him in double-digits. Notae also leads the SEC and ranks seventh nationally at 2.5 steals per game.

Wednesday night marks the 84th all-time meeting between the Rebels and Razorbacks, the 56th since Arkansas joined the SEC. Overall, Arkansas owns a 50-33 advantage in the series, but the Rebels hold a large 20-8 spread at home while the Razorbacks lead 19-11 in Fayetteville. Arkansas holds a wide disparity on neutral sites, owning a 23-2 record in such games. The first 16 games of the all-time series from 1950 until 1964 were all held at neutral sites, with the first on-campus meeting coming in Fayetteville on Dec. 9, 1967 (L, 64-62). The series moved to Oxford for the first time the following year on Dec. 7, 1968, when the Rebels won in overtime, 65-61. 

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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