A late flurry of alternating scores at the end of regulation forced an extra five minutes of play, before the Ole Miss men’s basketball team fell to Mississippi State 69-61 in overtime on Saturday at the SJB Pavilion.
The Bulldogs (18-9, 6-8 SEC) came out firing, taking their largest lead early in the first half, up 14-4 on the Rebels (10-17, 2-12 SEC) with 15:10 on the clock. Ole Miss fought their way back in it, as a dunk by Myles Burns cut the deficit to three points moments later. Despite Mississippi State shooting over 60 percent from the field in the first half, the Rebels stood strong, with an and-one conversion from Jaemyn Brakefield making it 28-27 in favor of the visitors with 3:06 before the break. Matthew Murrell drew a foul in the paint with 31 seconds on the scoreboard, converting both opportunities to put Ole Miss up 33-32 at halftime.
A second half that saw six lead changes and five ties was a defensive battle, as the Rebels bounced back from the first half to hold State to just 25.9 percent from the field. A layup down low from Brakefield put Ole Miss in front 51-48 with 4:25 left in the second half, before the Bulldogs tied it up at 54 with under a minute to go. A tough score in the paint by Burns with 38 seconds on the board was answered, forcing the 12th overtime game in the Ole Miss – Mississippi State series.
Shooting 4-4 from the field in the bonus five minutes, the Bulldogs claimed a quick lead and held on for the win.
Brakefield led the Rebels in scoring with 20 points, his second 20-point game of the season, adding eight rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. With seven steals, Burns is tied for the third-most swipes in a single game in Ole Miss history, the most recent seven-steal effort coming from Terrance Davis in 2019. Burns also pushed his season steals total to 60, the fourth-most in a single season in school history, trailing only Gerald Glass with 85 in 1989, Jason Smith with 73 in 1999, and Glass once more in 1990 with 70.
Murrell scored in double figures for the 18th time this year with 15, while Burns added 10.
The Bulldogs were led by Tolu Smith and Cameron Matthews who each scored 17.
The Rebels will jump back on the road and take on Auburn next, with a game set for Wednesday, February 22 at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports