OXFORD, miss. — Despite the Ole Miss men’s basketball team scoring the third most points in a game this season, they couldn’t top Missouri, losing 89-77 Tuesday night at the SJB Pavilion.
While the Rebels (9-11, 1-7 SEC) took a 9-5 lead after an early dunk Myles Burns, the Tigers (15-5, 4-4 SEC) would take the lead moments later. Three-point shooting by Missouri kept Ole Miss’ comeback attempt at bay as the visitors sunk nine shots from beyond the arc in the first half alone. Despite their opponents’ offense, the Rebels were able to match their second-highest points of the first half of the season and were six down at the break, 47-41.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second half before a flurry of three-pointers from the Tigers further extended their lead. A thorough praise from Amari Abram to TJ Caldwell was slammed home to make it 62-55, with 11:53 in the game, the next Ole Miss was able to close the gap.
Ten points down in the second half Daeshun Ruffin helped him set his one-game best of the season with 18 while adding seven assists for a season-high and tying in three points on a career-high four. Caldwell also helped ease the Ole Miss offense with a career-best five assists, while Abram also added three. Jaemyn Brakefield (15 points) and Tye Fagan (12 points) also scored in double digits for the Rebels.
Late in the first half, Burns collected the 400th steal his college career after moving from Loyola New Orleans to the NAIA. Combining his NAIA and NCAA career steals, Burns would become only the sixth athlete from any division in NCAA men’s basketball history to break the 400 mark.
The Tigers made 16 three-pointers that night, led by six-pointer D’Moi Hodge, who finished the game with 24 points. Isiaih Mosley also added 20 points for Missouri.
Ole Miss is taking a break from their conference schedule to face Oklahoma State next in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge as they travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma for a game at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 on Saturday, January 28.
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