Ole Miss men’s basketball falls to Missouri, 89-77
OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s basketball team lost 89-77 Tuesday night to the Missouri Tigers at the SJB Pavilion. The loss drops the Rebels to 1-7 in SEC play for the second time in head coach Kermit Davis’ career at Ole Miss.
The Tigers lit up the scoreboard from the three-point arc, scoring 48 of their points on 16 three-pointers. Ole Miss was able to score its highest point total since tallying 98 against Valparaiso in December, but 77 just was not enough against the Tiger barrage.
“We tried like heck, and hats off to Missouri,” Davis said postgame. “They made a bunch of shots tonight, and a lot of different guys made shots.”
Davis was proud of the Rebels’ offensive effort, especially with the absence of star guard and leading scorer Matthew Murrell, who was out with a knee injury. However, the defense was not able to slow down the Tigers.
“Obviously, 77 was plenty to win at home, but we couldn’t defend it. We made some runs, but we just couldn’t get stops.”
Coach Kermit Davis
Missouri shot 55% from the field and a blazing 53% from the three-point line. The Rebels were able to make 10 threes of their own, but 16 turnovers leading to 20 points for the Tigers did not help the cause.
Guard Daeshun Ruffin led the offensive Rebels with 18 points and seven assists. Forward Jaemyn Brakefield added another 15 points on 5-8 shooting. Guard Tye Fagan was the third Rebel in double figures with 12 points. He also grabbed six boards.
Ole Miss has now lost eight of its last nine games and has not won a home game since December 17th against Temple. The defensive end was the reason for the loss against Missouri, but Davis recognizes that this string of losses has come in many different shades.
“Teams that find themselves where we are find different ways to lose games. I like the fight of our team but hats off to Missouri.”
Tye Fagan, one of the six seniors on the Rebels’ roster, explained how the team’s morale needs to stay high in losing stretches like these.
“As a team, [if] you go through a stretch of losing a few games, you could easily just say that it’s over. We work too hard at practice to give up or quit. We made a commitment at the beginning of the season that we were going to do better than we did last year, and I still believe in that.”
Senior Tye Fagan
With the Rebels heading to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State on Saturday, Davis offered an update on Matthew Murrell’s status heading into the weekend.
“He will just be day-to-day. He is going to try to get back on the floor tomorrow. He has been running. It was just a mild MCL [injury], so Matt [may] be back Saturday. I don’t know. That will just depend day-to-day of treatment.”
Coach Davis on Matt Murrell
The Rebels will hope to have Murrell back and get on the winning track Saturday night on the road against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Tipoff in Stillwater is set for 7 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Sports Communication and Promotion. He has previous experience covering sports for another site, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Growing up in New Orleans, La., he has the Pelicans and Saints running through his blood. He also grew up in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to cover sports back in his hometown after college. Laissez les bons temps rouler!