Ole Miss men’s basketball one of four teams in the nation still undefeated

posted in: Mississippi News | 0

Ole Miss has seen immediate success in year one of the Chris Beard era. Since taking over, the team has won 10 straight games and is one of four undefeated programs in the nation.

The Rebels’ latest win came in a Saturday night battle against California (3-7) in San Antonio, Texas. Ole Miss (10-0) led by as many as 24, but survived a late surge by the Golden Bears to post an 88-78 victory in the Hall of Fame Series.

Saturday’s contest began with an Ole Miss offensive heater. The Rebels, led by Jackson native Jaemyn Brakefield, opened the contest on a 20-8 run. Brakefield, who would ultimately go on to have a career night, scored eight of the team’s points in the early swing.

California stopped the bleeding with a run of their own, cutting the Rebels’ lead to 28-22 with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half.

Ole Miss continued a strong offensive performance, shooting at a high volume from the floor and from behind the arc. The Rebels closed out the half with a 46-35 lead, converting 59% of field goals and 67% of threes.

After the intermission, the Ole Miss offense began rolling once more. Senior guard Matthew Murrell got things going with a triple in the first 10 seconds of the half. Brakefield scored seven of the Rebels’ next nine points to give the team a 19-point cushion.

The Rebels kept piling on. The red-hot Ole Miss offense exploited the Golden Bears’ zone defense to take a 65-41 lead with 12:56 left in the contest, but the game was far from over.

Ole Miss’ lead hovered around 20 points up until the last five minutes of the game when a recurring theme of the season resurfaced with the Rebels not closing out strong and allowing their opponent to creep back into the match.

With 4:01 left on the clock, the Golden Bears, trailing 80-64, heated up offensively and gave the Rebels a run for their money to close things out.

Jaylon Tyson, a California guard who previously played under Beard at Texas, was virtually unstoppable down the stretch and kept his team within arm’s reach. Tyson scored nine points in a 16-10 run the Golden Bears went on in the final five minutes of Saturday’s battle.

Though Ole Miss did not convert a field goal in the last 3:29 of the game, California’s run was too little, too late, and the Rebels held on to mount the double-digit win.

Jaemyn Brakefield recorded a career-high in scoring for the second time this season, posting 27 points on 8 of 11 shooting. The Rebels had four other scorers reach double digits — Matthew Murrell with 19, Jaylen Murray with 14, Allen Flanigan with 12, and TJ Caldwell with 11.

Side note from the game, after a recent ruling from the NCAA that multi-time transfers could play penalty-free for the remainder of the current academic calendar, Georgetown transfer Brandon Murray made his debut as an Ole Miss Rebel. Murray, getting into the swing of things, logged 14 minutes of play and scored three points.

Ole Miss joins Houston (11-0), James Madison (10-0), and Oklahoma (10-0) as the only unbeaten programs in the nation. The Rebels are the only SEC team with a flawless record at this point in the year.

While the Rebels did not appear in the latest Associated Press Top 25, Saturday’s win put Ole Miss on the map as a nationally-relevant program.

Ole Miss will return home to face Troy on Tuesday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed on the SEC Network+ as well as participating SuperTalk Mississippi stations.

The post Ole Miss men’s basketball one of four teams in the nation still undefeated appeared first on SuperTalk Mississippi.