By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss basketball team returns to the friendly confines of the Pavilion on Saturday night as they play host to the Alabama Crimson Tide in an SEC showdown. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network.
Ole Miss (13-13, 4-9 SEC) looks to bounce back after dropping a nail-biter 71-68 to the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday night. Senior Breein Tyree continues to put on a show every time he steps onto the court, including when he posted 29 against the Tigers.
The Somerset, NJ native is a 3-pointer away from becoming the sixth Rebel in history to make over 200 threes over his career.
Coach Kermit Davis’ starting five are all averaging double figures in wins, including Tyree (21.0 ppg), Blake Hinson (12.1 ppg), Devontae Shuler (11.5 ppg), KJ Buffen (11.5 ppg) and Khadim Sy (10.3 ppg).
The Rebels rank sixth nationally in defending the three-point line – opponents are shooting 28.1 percent. Ole Miss has limited the opposition to 18.1 percent (15 of 83) from beyond the arc over the past four games.
Shuler has 136 career steals and is on the heels of tying Terence Davis for tenth in school history.
Alabama (14-12, 6-7 SEC) is rolling into Oxford after a 74-68 home loss to Texas A&M (Feb. 19). Alabama is one of the country’s highest-scoring teams, averaging 82.6 ppg to rank second nationally. The Crimson Tide uses the long ball for its scoring success, making 11 three-pointers per game. That output also ranks second in the nation. Kira Lewis Jr., the reigning SEC Player of the Week, leads Alabama in scoring (17.5 ppg), assists (5.0 per game) and steals (1.9 per game). He ranks second in the SEC in steals and third in assists, while leading the conference in playing time (37.7 mpg). John Petty Jr. adds 15.0 ppg and a team-high 7.0 rpg. SEC Freshman of the Week Jaden Shackelford averages 14.7 ppg. The duo of Petty and Shackelford have combined for 150 made threes this season.
This game will be the 181st meeting between the two programs. Ole Miss trails in the series 122-58. In the last meeting, Alabama ended the Rebels’ run in the SEC Tournament by a score of 62-57.
Fans can watch all of the action on the SEC Network or on the Ole Miss radio network. Follow HottyToddySprts on Twitter for live updates.
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