Ole Miss Defeats LSU, But Interest Still Lagging

Terence Davis drives and scores a layup for Ole Miss. Photo by Wes Cooper.

Ole Miss Men’s Basketball defeated the LSU Tigers at home with another come-from-behind victory 76-96 to seal Valentine’s Day for fans.

Sophomore guard Antonio Blakeney led the Tigers with 29 points and two rebounds complemented by freshman guard Skylar Mays’ 19 points. Junior forward Aaron Epps finished with a double-double recording 11 points and 11 rebounds. Blakeney netted 22 of his 29 points in the first half.

LSU (9-16, 1-12 Southeastern Conference) finished out a strong first half and edged the Rebels by three to a score of 47-44. However, when Blakeney lost his hot hand, so did the whole team.

Ole Miss (16-10, 7-6 Southeastern Conference) found themselves in a similar situation from last Saturday’s game against Auburn. LSU’s biggest lead of the game was by 11 points in the second half. Although, never count the Rebels out.With nine and a half minutes left in the game, junior guard Cullen Neal sunk a layup and got the foul to cut LSU’s lead 66-63. Sophomore guard Terence Davis followed Neal’s scoring drive with a clutch three-point basket while LSU led by a point 69-68.

Ole Miss took the lead with 6:30 left in the game and did not look back. The Rebels continued to put up points on the Tigers by going on a 17-0 run and generated 12 turnovers for LSU.

With nine and a half minutes left in the game, junior guard Cullen Neal sunk a layup and got the foul to cut LSU’s lead 66-63. Sophomore guard Terence Davis followed Neal’s scoring drive with a clutch three-point basket while LSU led by a point 69-68. Ole Miss took the lead with 6:30 left in the game and did not look back. The Rebels continued to put up points on the Tigers by going on a 17-0 run and generated 12 turnovers for LSU.

In a news conference covered by the Associated Press, Ole Miss Head Coach Andy Kennedy remarked, “It’s hard to turn around after climbing out of the hole with Auburn. But our players are beginning to understand to keep your head down and keep grinding.”

The Rebels were led by sophomore Terence Davis with a career-high 33 points with six rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Deandre Burnett and senior Sebastian Saiz chimed in with 15 points apiece. Saiz also had six rebounds.

Senior guard Rasheed Brooks played one of his best games of the season Tuesday night by drilling 3 three point shots and posting three boards. Brooks, Burnett, and Davis all had 3 three pointers. Justas Furmanavicius sealed the Ole Miss victory with a one-handed slam dunk in the final seconds.

The Ole Miss Men’s basketball team fired on all cylinders on Tuesday and seemed to be clicking very well with each other. This is a critical time in the basketball season with tournament play coming up in March. Unfortunately, it seems like interest Ole Miss Men’s Basketball is not as intense as it used to be. Looking at Google search data, in the past five years, interest peaked in 2013.

“It’s a shame that nobody is fired up about it anymore. I remember when Marshall [Henderson] was here everyone was talking about the basketball team,” commented Ole Miss alumnus and Oxford businessman Connor Bailey.

However, the Rebels are on a two-game win streak and have won four of the last five games. Ole Miss has also won its last five of seven SEC games with come-from-behind victories. This sort of positive momentum is exactly what the Rebels need with entering the SEC tournament in March.

Ole Miss takes on Arkansas in Fayetteville Saturday at 5 p.m. The game can be viewed on SEC Network.

This story was contributed by Wes Cooper (jwcooper@go.olemiss.edu) an intern at HottyToddy.com.

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