The Ole Miss Rebels basketball team defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions 74-72 in the semi-finals of the NIT Tip-Off at the Barclays Center on Wednesday.
Ole Miss (5-1) had a huge second-half performance in scoring behind senior Breein Tyree’s 18 points that all came in the last 20 minutes of action.
Coach Kermit Davis’ squad trailed the Nittany Lions by 21 points and did not take the lead until the 0:13 mark left in the contest. Bryce Williams was fouled on a rebound after a missed shot by KJ Buffen. He knocked down both free throws to give the Rebels the lead.
Ole Miss was without sophomore guard Louis Rodriguez who went down with a broken left foot in the shootaround prior to the game. He will undergo surgery on Sunday and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
The Rebels found their range from beyond the arc in the second half as they went 6-11 for 55 percent that helped them cut into the deficit down.
Three other Rebels joined Tyree in double figures: Blake Hinson (17), Williams (15) and Buffen (13).
Hinson fouled out at the 1:59 mark of the second half. He finished with six boards and two assists.
Ole Miss outscored Penn State 47-29 after the break. The Nittany Lions outscored the Rebels 36-26 in points in the paint.
Penn State (5-1) was led on the floor by Lamar Stevens with 22 points, and his teammate Mike Watkins added 18 points and 12 boards to the stats line.
Ole Miss will play the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Friday night in the championship game. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2.Sign up to receive Hottytoddy.com morning and evening headline emails HERE!