Ole Miss suffers second half collapse

Ole Miss suffers second half collapse
SOURCE: Texas A&M Athletics (Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

COLLEGE STATION, Tx. - It was a tale of two halves as the Ole Miss men’s basketball team began SEC play Tuesday night in Texas. The Rebels (9-5, 0-1 SEC) held a 10-point halftime lead behind the play of senior Breein Tyree, but Texas A&M countered in the second half to flip the game in its favor, 57-47.

The backcourt of Tyree and Devontae Shuler combined for 38 of the team’s 47 points. Tyree tallied a game-high 26, while Shuler scored 12 to reach double figures for the sixth consecutive game.

The Aggies (7-6, 1-1 SEC) were led by Josh Nebo (17 points) and Savion Flagg (11 points). Nebo was a perfect 5 for 5 from the field and made 7 of 9 at the line. While the Rebels held Texas A&M to 27 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes, the Aggies went 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) in the second half to turn the contest upside down.

Tyree, who has increased his scoring output from non-conference play to SEC action in each of his last three seasons, wasted no time proving that he enjoys conference games. The senior guard made his first three shots, scoring eight points in the first four minutes. With Tyree sparking a 7-0 run, Ole Miss held an early 10-3 advantage.

The defense ramped up on both ends of the floor as the two teams went scoreless over a five-minute stretch. Texas A&M broke the drought, and an 8-0 run gave the home team its first lead of the game, 11-10. However, it didn’t last long as the Rebels scored on their next possession. After getting back-to-back stops, Ole Miss converted offensively to push the lead to five.

A Tyree three, his third of the game, increased the cushion to double digits. The triple try gave the Rebel guard 15 points on the night and saw him outscoring the Aggies. On the following possession, Tyree drilled another three to make it 26-15 Ole Miss with 18 points from the senior. Texas A&M answered with four points, but Tyree ended the half with another three to send the Rebels into the locker room with a 10-point lead, 29-19.

Tyree had 21 points at the break, going 8 of 10 from the floor and making eight of the team’s 11 buckets. On the other side of the court, Ole Miss held Texas A&M to 26.9 percent (7 of 26) shooting, including 0 for 10 from beyond the arc. In the paint, Nebo scored nine of the Aggies’ 19 first half points.

Texas A&M sliced the lead in half three minutes into the second half after Flagg made the team’s first three-pointer of the game. The run grew to 15 straight points for the Aggies as the Rebels went scoreless for seven minutes, and the home team regained the advantage 36-32.

A three-pointer by Andre Gordon Gave Texas A&M its largest lead of the game, 49-39, with 4:35 left in the game. However, two quick buckets by Shuler cut the deficit in half to five. The Aggies continued to find the bottom of the net, making their five of their final six shots of the game. Additional free throws in the final minutes allowed Texas A&M to protect the home floor and take the contest.

Following back-to-back road games, the Rebels return to Oxford for their first home game of 2020. Ole Miss hosts Arkansas for a Saturday evening match up (Jan. 11). Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

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