OXFORD, Miss. – Having a healthy Deandre Burnett paid off for Ole Miss in Saturday’s 78-72 win over a talented Florida team. The senior guard finished with 20 points and six assists on 5 of 8 shooting in the Rebels’ victory in The Pavilion at Ole Miss. Markel Crawford added 17 points on 7 of 12 shooting. (Click here for the box score.)
Nine of the Rebels’ 10 wins have come at home.
Perhaps the most impressive offensive effort for Ole Miss came from Bruce Stevens, who had his way with the post players of the Gators (12-5, 4-1), en route to finishing with a team-high 22 points and six rebounds. This win gives the Rebels a quality win on their NCAA Tournament resume as Florida entered the game ranked No. 34 in the latest RPI rankings.
The loss snaps the Gators’ six-game winning streak and gives them their first loss of the season in SEC play. No. 22 Auburn remains the only undefeated team in league play. The win for Ole Miss puts the Rebels at 3-2 this season in the SEC with road games against Texas A&M and Arkansas on the way next week.
Both the Aggies and the Razorbacks are ranked in the top 50 RPI, and wins over those programs next week would be huge for the Rebels.
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) January 13, 2018
Three keys to the Rebels’ 78-72 defeat of the Gators
1. Ole Miss defense was strong
Florida’s offense made only one field goal out of seven attempts in the final seven minutes of the game. Ole Miss’ defense played a big part in that, pressuring each Gator who had the basketball in his hand, forcing one bad shot after another. The Rebels outscored Florida 47-41 in the second half and came up big from the free throw line, going 22 for 26.
The Gators, who made 16 of 22 from the foul line, came into the game as one of the best free throw shooting teams in the SEC, but Ole Miss (9-7) had the advantage Saturday.
2. Holding Hudson and Koulechov
Virginia Tech transfer Jalen Hudson entered today’s contest with the Rebels averaging 16.6 points per game, but he fell short of that today against Ole Miss. Before fouling out in the final moments of the game, Hudson finished with 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting in 19 minutes of action. The team’s second leading scorer, Egor Koulechov also finished with 11 points to go along with his 11 rebounds.
Koulechov made only 4 of 15 shots from the field, including going 3 for 7 from 3. Koulechov came in shooting 93.9 percent (46 of 49) from the free throw line, but didn’t see the charity stripe against the Rebels.
Forward Keith Stone led Florida in scoring with 23.
3. Winning the rebounding battle
Ole Miss outrebounded Florida 44-35, with 10 of those coming on the offensive end. The Rebels also held a 34-26 advantage on the defensive end.
Other key stats
Ole Miss scored 15 points off 10 Florida turnovers. The Rebels outscored Florida 32-22 in the paint and finished with 17 assists on 25 made field goals.