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Ole Miss Men’s Basketball Drops Home Contest with Texas A&M, 76-66 

Ole Miss men’s basketball came up short against a well-rounded offensive and defensive showing from Texas A&M, with the Rebels falling to the Aggies, 76-66, at SJB Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

The Rebels (13-16, 4-12 SEC) fought through a rough first half that featured 10 turnovers and just 23 points, while the Aggies (18-11, 7-9 SEC) logged nine first-half steals and shot a red-hot 67.9 percent from the floor to build a 23-point halftime lead. Ole Miss won the second half by 13, but the late show of resiliency was not enough to cover the wide margin Texas A&M built up early.

“I take full responsibility, that was embarrassing. I didn’t come to Ole Miss to put that kind of product on the floor,” said Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis. “We’ve fought some different things, but we have enough to be competitive, and we weren’t today. I commend the guys in the last 15 minutes. We fought and made it more respectable. Their style of play is a juggernaut for us. It just hits us in every area. We’ll have to regroup and play a great Kentucky team this Tuesday, so we’ll watch this tape tomorrow morning and get right onto Kentucky tomorrow afternoon.”

Texas A&M came out swinging right from the opening tip, going on a 14-0 run over the opening 3:46 of play. The run included the Aggies starting 6-of-6 from the floor, while the Rebels would start 0-of-4 from the field along with four early Ole Miss turnovers.

While the Rebels would respond with an 11-2 run of their own to cut the Aggie lead down to just five, Texas A&M would keep its foot on the gas. The Rebels ended the first half with no field goals over their final 4:07 of play, while the Aggies shot 67.9 percent in the frame to carry a 46-23 lead into the locker room – an Ole Miss opponent season-high for first half scoring margin.

To open the second half, both teams exchanged blows with no traction being made on the scoreboard, as midway through the second the Aggies maintained a 24-point lead over the Rebels. However, it was from this point that the Rebel defense would help close the gap, with Ole Miss holding the Aggies to just one made field goal over the last 10:30 of the game.

Behind the offense of Matthew Murrell, who would end the night with a team-high 20 points, as well as Tye Fagan with 10 points and a career-high eight assists, the Rebels clawed their way back to a single-digit deficit, trailing Texas A&M by just nine with 1:04 left on the clock.

The effort proved too little too late for the Rebels, however, as Texas A&M would hang on to their lead until the end, downing the Rebels by a final score of 76-66.

Murrell’s 20-point outing marked his third such game this season. Murrell shot 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-5 from deep, while also tallying a 6-of-8 clip from the charity stripe.

Ole Miss will now hit the road for the final time of the regular season, traveling to Lexington to take on the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (23-6, 12-4 SEC) on Tuesday. Tipoff from Rupp Arena is set for 6 p.m. CTon ESPN.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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