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Ole Miss Triumphs over Memphis, 67-63, in Sellout at Pavilion

Ole Miss Triumphs over Memphis, 67-63, in Sellout at Pavilion

OXFORD, Miss. — In front of a packed house in the Sandy and John Black Pavilion, Ole Miss men’s basketball came out and performed and earned the Rebels’ first ranked win of the season, defeating Memphis 67-63.

It wasn’t the prettiest win, but it is one that has surely left Ole Miss fans excited.

After dropping two games earlier this season in Charleston, the Rebels needed a good non-conference win especially since it was at home. With the way the NCAA NET rankings work, getting a higher rating early can benefit a team for the rest of the season. A home game has smaller quadrant gaps than a neutral site or home game, so for Ole Miss a win over Memphis was very important.

Ole Miss comes out confident against Tigers

The Rebels came out confident in the contest Saturday morning. There were only five lead changes in the game, with Ole Miss holding the advantage for 28:25 seconds of the contest, while the Tigers only led for 6:59.

In the first half, the Rebels maintained the lead for a majority of the half. This was in large part to Jarkel Joiner who notched 13 in the first half, scoring in a variety of ways. The Oxford native was constantly there to make plays both out in transition and in the half-court.

Jaemyn Brakefield had a very big step-back in the first to keep things leaning the Rebels’ way and also had a big fast-break dunk to get the crowd involved.

Ole Miss shot 37% (11-29) in the first half and knocked down four triples.

In the second half, we saw adversity begin to set in. Robert Allen suffered a scary injury earlier in the game and was unable to return to the contest.

Midway through the second, the Rebels were trying to stretch the lead but fouls became an issue. Both Austin Crowley and Jaemyn Brakefield would get into foul trouble with nearly fifteen minutes left in the game, and the two would have to sit for a while. The Tigers would also get to the bonus round, leading to some free throw opportunities.

Despite being down three players for a majority of the second and giving up multiple free throws, head coach Kermit Davis’ Rebel team dug its heels in. This is where we saw how special this team can be.

First, Coach Davis switched to a 2-3 zone that frustrated the Tigers and created a couple of quick turnovers.

Then on the offensive end, the Rebels were struggling to find production with Memphis’ Alex Lomax aggressively trying to take Joiner out of the game. This led to Coach Davis running a couple of sets for Matthew Murrell.

The sophomore would answer the call and we saw a big rise in his confidence today.

Ole Miss needed to get it done from the outside to win this game, and Murrell is a big part of that. After the clip above, he felt the green light and would pull it as he knocked down three triples in the second.

The Rebels would extend their lead up to eleven, but The Tigers would come back.

Being aggressive and trying to get to the free throw line, the Tigers would pick up seven points from the line and work the game back down to three points.

A diamond press made the hearts of fans in the Pavillion skip a beat as the Tigers had an opportunity to tie the game with 14 seconds left.

But Nysier Brooks would come up huge and make three final free throws for the Rebels as the crowd erupted with the 67-63 win.

It was a defensive showcase for both teams Saturday. Memphis shot 38% from the field, while Ole Miss only mustered a 35% clip.

The Rebels made life tough for the Tigers as Emoni Bates, who led the Tigers in the shooting, went 1-for-10 from the field. Landers Nolley and Jalen Duren both only attempted three shots.

Penny Hardaway looked to get production from his bench in the form of Tyler Harris, Malcolm Dandridge, and Josh Minnot, but the Tigers really struggled to find who was going to step up and lead their offense throughout the contest.

Memphis’ leading scorers were Deandre Williams (13) and Earl Timberlake (11).

Ole Miss was led by the duo of Jarkel Joiner who finished with 20 and Matthew Murrell who tallied 19.

Despite being down to six rotational players, Ole Miss found a way to prevail. This was a huge victory for the Rebels, one that will be remembered as the team fights to prove it can be a team competing in March.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy)

About The Author

TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley is a current MBA student at Ole Miss after having earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Toledo. He currently covers college hoops and the NBA Draft for the Basketball Society as well as all things Ole Miss for The Rebel Walk.

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