By Adam Brown
Ole Miss men’s basketball team returns to the SJB Pavilion on Saturday as they play host to the Valpariso Beacons. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network.
Ole Miss comes into the matchup with a 6-2 overall record looking to bounce back from back-to-back loss’ to Oklahoma and Memphis.
This season, the Rebels average 69.1 points per game and are led in scoring by Matthew Murrell who averages 14.0 points per night. His teammate Amaree Abram is also averaging in double figures at 11.8 through the first eight games of the season.
Abram was named the SEC Co-Freshman of the Week for his efforts in Orlando, leading the Rebels to a 2-1 record and a trip to the title game against Oklahoma. All told, Abram accounted for 30.1 percent of all Rebel scoring in the tournament, averaging 20.7 points per game across three contests against Stanford (26 points; W, 72-68), Siena (19 points; W, 74-62) and Oklahoma (17 points; L, 59-55).
Valpariso rolls into Oxford with a 4-6 record and 0-2 mark in the MVC. The Beacons are coming off of a 96-60 win over Trinity Christian.
The Beacons have three players averaging a double figure all led by Ben Krikke with 20.5 points, behind is Kobe King (17.0) and Quinton Green (11.6).
In the first ten games, Valpo is shooting .278 from beyond the arc while their opponents are hitting at a .382 mark from down town.
This will be the third meeting between Ole Miss and Valparaiso, and the first game not played at a neutral location. The two programs first met back in 1969 on December 29 in Mobile, Ala., with the Rebels taking the victory 80-77. The two teams matched up in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, where Valparaiso won 70-69 on a buzzer-beater three-point shot to advance.