By Adam Brown
Ole Miss men’s basketball welcomes the North Alabama Lions into the SJB Pavilion on Tuesday. The tip-off is set for 2 p.m. and can be seen on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss (8-3) is coming off a 63-55 victory over Temple on Saturday. The Rebels were led on the floor by Matthew Murrell with 21 points over the Owls.
This season, the Rebels’ depth has been on full display to begin the season, as the Ole Miss bench has accounted for over a third of the team’s scoring through their first 11 games (38.1%, 295 of 775 points). The Rebels have topped their opponents in bench points in nine of 11 contests, and are outscoring their foes’ benches by 143 on the year (295 to 152). Their 26.8 points per game off the bench rank fourth in the SEC.
North Alabama rolls into Oxford with a 6-5 overall record. The Lions are coming off an 84-60 loss on the road to Colorado on Thursday night.
North Alabama has three different players averaging double figures on the season led by Daniel Ortiz with 13.1 points per game. His teammates Damian Forrest and KJ Johnson both are scoring 10.5 ppg.
This season, the Lions are averaging 77.0 points per game and allowing their opponents to score 74.1 ppg.
While the two universities have met four times before on the basketball court, this will be the first meeting with North Alabama since the school changed its name in August of 1974 from Florence State University. In their first meeting in 1952, Ole Miss recorded their fourth-ever 100-point game, defeating Florence State 111-92 as the Rebels set a school record with 46 made field goals (later broken in 1970, now the fourth-most in program history). The two teams met just over a month later in Oxford, with the Rebels coming out on top 82-48. A decade later, the schools played in a “home and away” series once more, with Ole Miss defeating Florence State in a tight 68-64 game on January 2, 1962, before the Rebels won by 10 a few weeks later, 80-70, on January 29.