OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss men’s basketball team made sure head coach Kermit Davis had a happy 60th birthday. Behind a career-high 34 points from senior guard Breein Tyree, the Rebels (7-3) took down Davis’ former team, Middle Tennessee, 82-64 Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion.
Ole Miss made it rain from long range, going 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) to nearly set a single-game school record. Tyree made eight of his own, shooting 8 of 11 from beyond the arc. The Somerset, New Jersey, native scored 25 of his points in the opening half to make sure the game was never in doubt. Blake Hinson added a trio of threes on his own for 11 points, while freshman Austin Crowley matched his teammate for a new career high.
Sharing the basketball throughout the afternoon, the Rebels tallied 23 assists on 28 buckets. Devontae Shuler almost recorded a double-double with 10 points and a career-high nine assists. For the third straight game, Khadim Sy added 10 points with seven rebounds. C.J. Jones scored 23 points to lead the Blue Raiders (4-7), while Tyson Jackson and Donovan Sims added 14 points apiece.
Ole Miss continued to lock down on its three-point defense, limiting Middle Tennessee to a 16.7 percent clip (3 of 18). The Rebels jumped out to a 9-0 lead, forcing Middle Tennessee to miss its first five shots. Hinson and Tyree came out on fire, starting out 5 of 5 from long distance. Back-to-back Tyree threes, followed by the senior finding Sy down low, made it 22-8 in favor of Ole Miss.
With 11:19 remaining in the first half, Tyree had more points (13) than the Blue Raiders (12). Hitting back-to-back threes once again, his fifth in as many attempts, Tyree increased his scoring output to 19. Hinson remained perfect form beyond the arc, knocking down his third trey to double up Middle Tennessee 36-18.
Another Tyree triple made him 6 for 6 from long range. Closing out the half, the senior drained his seventh three-pointer to give Ole Miss a 48-31 advantage going into the locker room. The Rebels shot 56.7 percent (17 of 30) in the first half, including 68.8 percent (11 of 16) from beyond the arc. With the help of his seven treys, Tyree recorded 25 first half points to lead the way.
The visitors came out of the half strong, using an 8-1 run to get within 10. However, Tyree and the rest of the Rebels made sure they wouldn’t get any closer. The senior’s eighth three of the game set a Pavilion record and gave him a new career high in points, pushing the Rebels ahead 72-49. Continuing to distribute the ball to lead to buckets, Ole Miss cruised to the 18-point win.
Following the three-game homestand, Ole Miss heads to the state capital (Jackson, Mississippi) to face Southeastern Louisiana at the Mississippi Coliseum for the second consecutive season (Dec. 21). Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.