Ole Miss downs in-state foe MS State in SEC thriller

Ole Miss downs in-state foe MS State in SEC thriller


6 hours ago SEC Network

OXFORD, Miss. – An in-state rivalry game that had it all, a record-breaking crowd and a tight competitive score, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team took down Mississippi State 86-82 on Tuesday night in an electric SJB Pavilion.

The Ole Miss faithful showed out, shattering the previous attendance record by over 1,000, as 10,630 fans witnessed the Rebels’ win. It was the highest attendance for an Ole Miss basketball game in the 114 years of the program.

The visitors grabbed an early 5-0 lead before Jaylen Murray and Matthew Murrell drew the game even at five. A first half that saw five ties and four lead changes, the game was tied at five, 11, 14, 34, and eventually 39 at the buzzer.

Down seven with just over three minutes left before the half, TJ Caldwell connected on one of his four makes from deep on the night, with Murrell eventually tying it back up with 1:43 to go. A last-second deep ball from Jaylen Murray gave the Rebels (18-3, 5-3 SEC) a tie game at the midway break, at 39-all.

Moussa Cisse was the first to score in the second period on a tough dunk down low, starting off a 14-2 run that was punctuated by a jumper from Brandon Murray. The Rebels held a two-possession lead over the Bulldogs (14-7, 3-5 SEC) for a majority of the second half, before the visitors cut their deficit to one point with 5:14 left to play.

Despite playing one of the best games at point guard in school history with 11 assists and just one turnover, Jaylen Murray contributed plenty in the scoring column. The junior stretched the lead for Ole Miss to 82-77 with a clutch three with 1:41 left on the clock, before Mississippi State responded with a three of their own.

Following a timeout from the visitors, Brandon Murray fought through the defense and made a huge layup to make it 84-80. The Bulldogs retaliated with a score in the paint and were fouled on their next possession. After missing both free throws, Mississippi State sent Caldwell to the line where he capped off his career night with two clutch shots.

Entering tonight’s game ranked 37th in the nation with a team assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.46, Ole Miss tied their season-best in both assists with 22 and turnovers with seven. The Rebels were led by Jaylen Murray with 11 dimes, who is now tied for the 10th-most assists in a single game in school history, last achieved by Todd Abernethy in 2007.

Jaemyn Brakefield contributed to the offensive movement as well, tying his career-high with six assists while registering zero turnovers. Connecting on four three pointers for the sixth time this year, Jaylen Murray led the Rebels with 21 points. Matthew Murrell added 20 points, hitting three shots from deep for the 24th time in his career.

A key part in the Ole Miss victory, Caldwell scored a career-best 18 points off the bench, going 4-5 from the three-point line.

The Rebels collected double-digit steals for the sixth time this year with 12, as Brakefield and Brandon Murray each came up with three, while Allen Flanigan and Caldwell grabbed two each.

Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Josh Hubbard, who scored 21 points. Cameron Matthews and Shakeel Moore each contributed double-figure performances, while Dashawn Davis scored 15 off the bench.

The Rebels look to keep their current SJB Pavilion win streak of 12 games rolling this Saturday, as they host No. 16 Auburn on February 3 at 5 p.m. on the SEC Network.


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