Select Page

Ole Miss Defeats Stanford, 72-68, as Abram Shines; Rebs Face Siena in Semi-Finals Friday

Ole Miss Defeats Stanford, 72-68, as Abram Shines; Rebs Face Siena in Semi-Finals Friday

ORLANDO — Ole Miss continued its undefeated start to the basketball season as the Rebels improved to 5-0 with a win in the first round of the ESPN Events Invitational.

The Rebels took care of business against Stanford in a 72-68 win in the first round of their multi-team event in Orlando. With the win, Ole Miss moves to the semifinals of the MTE to play Siena. The Saints defeated Florida State 80-63 earlier that day to book their spot in the semifinals.

For Ole Miss it was a test of adversity — and is one that they passed.

After a quick scoring burst to start the half, head coach Kermit Davis needed someone to step up. The Rebels were still without guard Daeshun Ruffin, out with injury, and the team’s leading scorer, Matthew Murrell, got into foul trouble early in the first half.

With 7:21 left in the first half, Ole Miss was in need of that person to provide a scoring punch. Stuck in a scoring drought, the Rebels hadn’t tallied a field goal in the last 4:33, but their defense kept the Cardinal at bay as the score was tied 16-16.

It was then that Ole Miss’ Amaree Abram found his groove.

Abram is always confident, but he would score eight of Ole Miss’ next eleven to push the Rebels into a 29-22 lead at halftime. Ole Miss would put together a 43-point scoring performance in the second on a 60% shooting performance. This would be just enough to hold off Stanford who came storming back with a strong second half, themselves.

Abram would finish the game with 26 points (and four rebounds) and none being more clutch than his final three. The guard hit a clutch three late in the shot clock over a Stanford big to stretch the Ole Miss lead to five with 00:27 left in the contest.

Ole Miss also got significant contributions from Jaemyn Brakefield (17pts, 8 rebounds, 3 assists) and Jayveous McKinnis (15 pts, 5 rebounds).

All together, Ole Miss shot 50% (29-58) and 36.4% from 3PT (4-11). The Rebels narrowly edged Stanford in the rebounding battle, 35-30, and dominated in the paint — scoring 40 of their 72 points there.

With the loss, Stanford is now 2-3 on the season and will play Florida State on Friday. Their offense shot really well from the perimeter in the second half and utilized a lot of off ball cuts to the basket to get easy buckets.

Coach Jerod Haase would raise his big men, creating more space in along the baseline for open cutters to get in minimizing help defense. Sophomore Harrison Ingram, the former top-20 recruit, erupted for 24 points on 6-12 shooting while making 9-10 free throws. Spencer Jones also added 13.

Three Takeaways – How It Happened

Putting on the Pressure

In the preview article, we discussed how Stanford didn’t particularly play in transition. Prior to tonight’s game, they averaged 10.5 possessions in transition and only 0.905 points per possession. Knowing that, Coach Davis sent a variety of looks to help speed up the game and keep Coach Haase’s team on its heels.

The first possession of the game was a sidelines out of bounds after the opening tip went out of bounds. Ole Miss’s defense immediately went into a 1-3-1. We also saw a healthy amount of a press from Kermit Davis to further add pressure.

Keeping Stanford Out of the Paint

Credit should be given to the Ole Miss forwards. Coachg Davis praised the depth of his team and his ability to go to any player if needed. One of the areas Stanford had succeeded earlier this year was to score around the rim. The Cardinal only scored thirty total points in the paint and Jayveous McKinnis (amidst others) had a really big hand in stopping it. Kermit told the Jackson State transfer to treat the game like it was the first of the season. McKinnis responded with a 15 point performance where he routinely finished lobs, kept opposing from establishing position.

Freshmen Earn High Praise

With the injury to Daeshun Ruffin, both TJ Caldwell and Amaree Abram have had an opportunity to get more playing time. Amaree had a career night and displayed a wide arsenal of shot making in both the midrange and on the perimeter. The Rebel offense began to seek him out late in the shot clock to find his own looks. We can call it a breakout game for Abram.

Kermit Davis described the performance, saying:

(Abram) just got into a really good rhythm.He’s got a really good mid-range game, and he got it going shooting it from three. He was playing with a lot of confidence. I thought he played with a good pace today… I knew he had it in him.”  

Coach Davis on Amaree Abram

Apparently the confidence wasn’t only from Kermit as Abram, himself, believed he was capable of the performance.

I always play with confidence… I just play the game and play the game how it is supposed to be played. I’m very effective in practice and practice translates to the game. I just keep playing with confidence.

Amaree Abram

TJ Caldwell earned his praise as he was playing through an ankle injury. Kermit said the ankle was re-aggravated during a shoot-around and that TJ showed some real toughness to play through it all.

What’s Next

In the semi-finals of the multi-team event, Ole Miss is slated to play Siena of the MAAC conference. Prior to the season,  predictions had the Saints finishing sixth in the conference.

On the year, Siena has a 3-2 record and has upped its scoring by nearly ten points a game to get up to 75.8 PPG.

Siena Schedule

@ Holy Cross (W 75-68)

vs UAlbany (W 75-62)

@ Army (L 94-96)

@ Harvard (L 59-69)

vs Florida State (W 80-63)

Siena is led by the duo of Javian McCollum and Andrew Platek. McCollum is a sophomore who is averaging 15.8 ppg, while Platek is a transfer from North Carolina who is averaging 14.5 points per game.

Platek has shown some elite outside shooting production so far this season, making 18 of his 30 attempts. In his larger volume, his effective field goal percentage is at 78% for the year.

The Saints offense has been pretty efficient this year; however, Synergy sports statistics show us that in the limited possessions against zone defense, Siena has been pretty ineffective. They rank in the 15th percentile and have only scored seven points against them all season.

Another thing to keep an eye on is if Ole Miss goes back to the press. It looked to rattle Stanford today and the Saints have turned the ball over 30.8% of the time against a press.

Defensively, Siena has struggled this season and you can expect a large portion of man defense. On average, teams are shooting 44.6% against the Saints’ man defense and give up an average of 0.888 points per possession. That sits them at 275th nationally.

The game is going to take place Friday at 10:00 AM CT and will be broadcast on ESPN2. We will be bringing you plenty of hoops coverage tomorrow on the game!

Hotty Toddy!

TJ Oxley
TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley is the Director of Basketball Content and Senior Basketball Writer for The Rebel Walk. He has over five years of experience providing in-depth analysis of college basketball through multiple platforms. A former MBA graduate of Ole Miss, TJ started with The Rebel Walk in 2019.

About The Author

TJ Oxley

TJ Oxley is the Director of Basketball Content and Senior Basketball Writer for The Rebel Walk. He has over five years of experience providing in-depth analysis of college basketball through multiple platforms. A former MBA graduate of Ole Miss, TJ started with The Rebel Walk in 2019.

Leave a Reply

Recruiting Updates

Visit The Rebel Walk Forum

GRIDIRON GALLERY

Get RW Updates

Rebel Walk on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: