The Pavilion was electric, reigning SEC Player of the Week Breein Tyree could not be stopped, and the Ole Miss basketball team turned a halftime deficit into a blowout victory over its archrival. Behind a career-high 40 points from Tyree, the Rebels (13-11, 4-7 SEC) rolled to an 83-58 victory over Mississippi State Tuesday night.
The 25-point win was the fifth-largest margin of victory for Ole Miss in the SEC’s longest rivalry. Ole Miss starters scored all 83 of the team’s points with Tyree leading the way. Facing the rival Bulldogs (15-9, 6-5 SEC) for the final time in The Pavilion, the senior saved up his best game one day after being named conference player of the week. Tyree made 13 of his 22 shot attempts, which included four three-pointers. He knocked down his free throws as well, going 10 for 11 from the stripe. The Somerset, New Jersey, native outscored MSU by himself 27-24 in the second half.
Khadim Sy played his best SEC game, scoring 14 of his 18 points in the first half to keep Ole Miss within striking distance. The junior added a team-high eight rebounds to match his career high. Classmate Devontae Shuler tallied 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers.
On the defensive end of the floor, the Rebels limited MSU to 36.7 percent clip (18 of 49) that included only seven second half field goals. Reggie Perry recorded 24 points and eight rebounds, both team highs, to pace MSU in the loss.
Four fouls on the Rebels over the first three minutes, including two on Tyree, helped MSU grab an early advantage. The foul calls forced Ole Miss’ leading scorer to the bench, and a 10-0 run put the Bulldogs up 10-2. The Rebels countered with a 10-0 run of their own, starting and ending with KJ Buffen. After splitting a pair of free throws, Sy provided an offensive putback. Back in the game, Tyree scored five straight points before Buffen slashed to the lane. The sophomore finished, giving the lead back to Ole Miss, 12-10.
The game of runs continued as a 13-0 MSU run broke a 13-13 tie, while the Rebels went scoreless for nearly six minutes. Tyree ended the drought with a corner three before adding a pair of free throws to get the deficit back to single digits. MSU increased the margin back to double figures before Sy went on a 8-0 run of his own. Following a pair of free throws, Shuler beat the buzzer with a three from the corner to send Ole Miss into the locker room down one, 34-33.
Sy (14) and Tyree (13) combined for 27 of the Rebels’ 33 first half points. Both teams were 11 of 26 from the field for a 42.3 percent clip. D.J. Stewart Jr.’s 11 points paced the Bulldogs.
A jumper by Shuler to start the second half flipped Ole Miss’ one-point deficit into a one-point lead. After Shuler skied for an offensive rebound over Perry, Tyree swung the ball around the arc to Blake Hinson. The sophomore drilled a corner three, bringing the Rebel faithful to its feet and forcing MSU head coach Ben Howland to call timeout with his team trailing by four.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Tyree grew the Ole Miss advantage to seven, 43-36. The lead dropped to a bucket before a 9-2 run, capped off by a Hinson three, put the Rebels up nine. Shuler got two teardrops to fall, one courtesy of an incredible shot fake, and MSU took its last timeout down 57-46 with 9:10 remaining.
The Rebels kept their foot on the gas, using an 11-0 run to make it a 19-point game. Eight points during the spurt came from Tyree. The senior knocked down a pair of free throws to increase his scoring output to 30, followed it with a thunderous dunk and a drilled a contested three at the top of the key to put Ole Miss up 75-52 with three minutes to go.
Tyree kept going with eyes on a new career high and he got it, becoming the first Rebel to score 40 points in an SEC game in four years. When the buzzer sounded, the senior outscored MSU by himself in the second half to complete the 25-point win.