By Adam Brown
Ole Miss returns to action this evening as they play host to in-state rivals Mississippi State inside the Pavilion. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. on ESPNU.
Ole Miss (12-11, 3-7 SEC) has won its past two contests over South Carolina and Florida behind the play of senior guard Breein Tyree. Tyree was named SEC Player of Week after averaging 30.5 ppg and shooting 52 percent from the field.
Junior Devontae Shuler has averaged 18.8 ppg over the past four games. He ranks second in the SEC in steals (2.1 per game) during conference play and fourth overall (1.8 per game).
The Tyree, Shuler duo is averaging a combined 35.0 ppg in conference play, which accounts for 52.6 percent of the Rebels’ scoring average in SEC games.
Mississippi State (15-8, 6-4 SEC) has won six of the past seven games after starting out 0-3 in the league. MSU protected its home court with an 80-70 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Bulldogs are one of the best rebounding teams in the country, ranking 10th nationally and leading the SEC with a +8.3 rebounding margin. MSU also defends the rim, averaging 5.0 blocks per game to rank 22nd in the nation.
“Reggie Perry is playing as good as any forward in college basketball right now,” Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis said. “They’ve got an older team. The way they rebound, they play with a lot of confidence and have gone on the road and won. They just have a really good college team.”
Perry averages a double-double to pace MSU with 17.4 ppg and 10.0 rpg. Tyson Carter adds 13.3 ppg and leads the team in assists (3.2 per game). Nick Weatherspoon (12.6 ppg) and Robert Woodard III (11.7 ppg) also average double figures.
The Bulldogs are Ole Miss’ most-played opponent, having met 260 times on the hardwood (the SEC’s most-played rivalry.) Mississippi State holds a 144-116 lead in the series which began in 1914, but the Rebels have won nine of the last 12 matchups.
Fans can watch all the action on ESPNU or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network.