OXFORD, MS (WLBT) - Behind a strong second half from junior guard Breein Tyree, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team got back to its winning ways with a 72-71 victory over Georgia Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion.
Tyree scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the final 20 minutes, including his own 7-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a six-point lead for the Rebels (19-8, 9-5 SEC). The pressure of the Ole Miss 1-3-1 zone defense forced a missed three pointer by the Bulldogs (10-17, 1-13 SEC) at the buzzer to secure the win.
Sophomore guard Devontae Shuler added 16 points. The Irmo, South Carolina, native knocked down four three-pointers, including a game-tying long ball with 1:22 to go. Terence Davis added 13 points with a team-high three steals, helping cause 19 Georgia turnovers throughout the game. KJ Buffen added eight points off the bench, while D.C. Davis also came in to add a career-high five rebounds and steal that led to a dunk.
Rayshaun Hammonds scored 16 points, and Jordan Harris tallied 15 points for Georgia. Nicolas Claxton also reached double figures with 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting.
With the Rebels trailing by three midway through the first half, Shuler made a slick pass to find Bruce Stevens down low. The duo followed with back-to-back threes before D.C. Davis stole the ball on the other end. Davis provided an exclamation point with a two-handed slam, prompting Georgia head coach Tom Crean to call timeout. Coming out of the break, Terence Davis nailed a corner three to put the Rebels up double digits, 28-18.
Ole Miss held Georgia to just one field goal over the final six minutes of the first half, taking a 39-29 lead into the locker room. The Rebels forced 12 first half turnovers and converted them into 11 points. Shuler led the way with 10 points in the opening 20 minutes as eight different Rebels found the scoring column.
The Bulldogs began the second half on an 14-2 run to regain the lead and force Ole Miss to take a timeout. Georgia’s advantage grew to five before six straight points by the Rebels flipped the game back in their favor. Tyree took a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a tough finish over several extended arms. After the Bulldogs grabbed the lead back, Tyree went on a 7-0 run of his own to push Ole Miss ahead by six. Trying to boost the run, the junior guard found some room on a three and tested his fire. The ball bounced off the rim, but Buffen soared through the air for a putback dunk to put the Rebels up 64-56 with 5:38 to go.
Ole Miss maintained a seven-point lead with less than three minutes remaining before the Bulldogs tied the game, scoring seven points in a span of 77 seconds. Shuler broke the tie with his fourth three-pointer of the game with 1:22 on the clock. Twenty seconds later, Claxton brought Georgia within one. On the next two possessions, both teams forced misses, and Tyree was fouled with 11 seconds left. Going to the line for the one-and-one, a rare missed free throw came out of Tyree’s hands as Georgia secured the rebound and called timeout after getting the ball past halfcourt. Inbounding the ball with six seconds left, Georgia found Claxton, but the Rebels quickly trapped the tall forward. Claxton was able to find Tyree Crump, whose desperate three clanked off the backboard as the horn sounded.
Up next, Ole Miss remains at home and welcomes a top five team to Oxford for the first time in two seasons. A sold out Pavilion will see the Rebels square off against No. 5 Tennessee Wednesday night (Feb. 27). Tipoff against the SEC leaders is set for at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
- Ole Miss improved to 5-1 over its last six games.
- The Rebels swept Georgia in a season series for the first time since 1989.
- Ole Miss won consecutive games over Georgia for the first time since taking matchups during the 2011-12 season and the 2012-13 season.
- The Rebels improve to 19-8, their best record through 27 games since going 19-8 in 2014-15 (last NCAA Tournament berth).
- Ole Miss moved to 9-5 in SEC play, its best record through 14 conference games since going 10-4 during the 2014-15 season.
- The Rebels secured a conference record of .500-or-better for the seventh time in the last eight years.
- Breein Tyree scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half.
- Playing 22 minutes off the bench, senior D.C. Davis posted the best +/- on the team (+12); Davis tied his career high with five rebounds.
- Devontae Shuler scored 16 points, the second-most his has scored in an SEC game in his career; he had 17 points at Auburn last week (Feb. 13).
- Shuler made four three-pointers, tying his career high.