Thursday, March 23, 2023

Ole Miss Men’s Basketball to Close Out Regular Season

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Photos by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics Instagram and Twitter @OleMissPix

The Ole Miss men’s basketball team travels to Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday to tangle with the Missouri Tigers in the 2023 regular season finale. The tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on the SEC Network.

Ole Miss (11-19, 3-14 SEC) closed out its home slate against the No. 24 Texas A&M Aggies on Tuesday in a hard-fought 69-61 loss.

The Rebels were led by junior Matthew Murrell with 26 points and a new career-high eight three pointers.

With a record of 22-8 overall and 10-7 in conference, Missouri enters Saturday’s regular season finale in fifth place in the SEC standings. The Tigers currently own a three-game winning streak, having defeated Mississippi State, Georgia, and LSU. Missouri has been dominant when playing on its home court, owning a record in Mizzou Arena of 15-3 this season.

Missouri has been paced offensively this season by Kobe Brown, who ranks seventh in the SEC with an average of 15.9 points per game. However, the senior is coming off back-to-back games with eight points scored. Averaging 14.3 points on the year, D’Moi Hodge has helped the Tigers immensely during their three-game win streak, averaging 19.0 points over the last trio of contests. Hodge also leads the SEC and ranks third in the nation with 78 steals, averaging 2.6 per game. A large part of Hodge’s game offensively has come from deep, as he ranks second in the conference in three pointers attempted (216), made (87), and three-point percentage (40.3%).

The Tigers rank second in college basketball in steals per game (10.5) and turnover margin (+5.8), forcing 17.4 turnovers per game. Missouri also ranks among the best in the nation in assists per game (18th, 16.4), three pointers per game (19th, 9.5), bench points per game (19th, 27.0), and fastbreak points per game (20th, 13.9).

This will be the second meeting between the Rebels and Tigers this season, and the 23rd matchup in the series history. Despite suffering a loss in the first contest of the year, Ole Miss still holds the series advantage 15-7. However, the Tigers have won four consecutive games and most recently evened the series 5-5 over the last 10. When playing in Columbia, the Rebels own a 6-3 lead, as well as a 7-3 record in Oxford and 2-1 record at neutral sites.