By Adam Brown
Ole Miss returns to action on Friday as they travel up to Nashville to take on Coach Kermit Davis’s old squad, Middle Tennessee. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. in the Bridgestone Arena.
Ole Miss (8-2) is coming off of a 90-70 victory over the Chattanooga Mocs. The Rebels were led by senior Terence Davis and Breein Tyree who each scored 20 points. Davis also added team highs in assists (7) and rebounds (5), while Tyree sparked the big run with 18 of his 20 points coming in the second half.
Ole Miss leads the SEC in field goal percentage (50.6) and free throw shooting (77.3 percent). Davis’s squad ranks second in 3-point shooting (37.7 percent) and in rebounding defense, allowing only 28.1 boards per game.
Middle Tennessee enters Friday night’s matchup with a 3-8 record, riding a seven-game losing skid by playing one of the nation’s toughest schedules. The Blue Raiders are coming off an 84-62 setback at Toledo on Dec. 15. MT has two common opponents with Ole Miss, dropping games to Butler (84-53) and Vanderbilt (79-51).
Tupelo native Antonio Green leads Middle Tennessee in scoring at 18.0 ppg, the only Blue Raider in double figures. Green also knocks down free throws at a 90.3 percent clip to rank 25th nationally. Reggie Scurry (9.1 ppg) and Karl Gamble (8.8 ppg) follow Green in scoring while serving as the team’s top two rebounders at 6.1 and 7.1 per game, respectively. Nick McDevitt is in his first season at Middle Tennessee after spending the past five seasons as UNC Asheville.
Ole Miss is just 3-6 all-time against Middle Tennessee. The Rebels won the first two games of the series, one in 1960 and one in 1963 before the Blue Raiders took six of the next seven meetings. Four of those Middle Tennessee victories were led by Davis over his current club. This season marks the sixth time in the past eight seasons that the two programs have met on the hardwood. Middle Tennessee holds a 2-1 advantage in neutral site contests. The last neutral site battle occurred Dec. 21, 2011 in Southaven — a 68-58 win by MT.
Fans can listen to all the action on the Ole Miss Radio Network.