Taking a strong lead via a 13-2 run near the end of the first half, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team took care of business on Saturday night, picking up an 82-69 win over the LSU Tigers in the SJB Pavilion.
“The thing that we wanted to do tonight was put two halves together,” said acting head coach Win Case. “With four minutes left, all the guys kept saying was ‘let’s go get this win’ and they did all the talking in the timeouts. So, my hats off to our players and I’m just excited for them.”
The visiting Tigers (13-16, 2-14 SEC) jumped out to an early lead on the Rebels (11-18, 3-13 SEC), putting Ole Miss in a seven-point deficit 15-8. A dunk and three-pointer by TJ Caldwell was followed up with a steal and slam from Myles Burns to quickly even the score with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half.
Tied at 19 with just over five minutes before the midway break, Matthew Murrell sunk a three-pointer to begin a run that eventually set the score at 32-21 in favor of Ole Miss. The two teams closed out the first period trading threes, as the Rebels took a 35-26 advantage into halftime.
“Character matters, and our team has a lot of character,” said Case. “That is the reason why this team never gave up. Through all the heartaches, injuries, and more, they stayed together and continued to fight.”
LSU responded to a 26-point first half with 43 in the second. However, the Ole Miss offense kept pace, shooting 62.1 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes of action and scoring 47 points, one away from their season-best for points in a second half.
“We’re happy to get the win and play for each other,” said Myles Burns. “The locker room felt very unselfish (after the game), and it felt good.”
The Rebels shot 55.2 percent from the floor in the game, their fifth game this season over 50 percent. They were paced offensively by Jaemyn Brakefield, who helped Ole Miss dominate the paint 42 points to LSU’s 24, scoring 23 points with 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, and third 20-point game. Amaree Abram added 14 points on a career-best four makes from beyond the arc, as Burns chipped in 12 and Murrell 11 points.
“Our assistant coaches today were amazing,” said Case. “We have some great assistants in Brock Morris, Stacy Hollowell, and Robert Kirby; and Michael Van Hooser who watched a lot of film. All of those guys were a big help in winning this ball game tonight and I can’t emphasize that enough. That’s the first thing I did when we entered the locker room, is thank our assistant coaches and staff because they were a big part of this.”
Ole Miss will play in their final home game next, as they’re set to host Texas A&M for senior day on Tuesday, February 28 at 8 p.m. in the SJB Pavilion and on ESPNU.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports